More than half of U.S. states are reportedly not following CDC guidelines for counting COVID-19 cases and deaths.
The CDC has asked states to count probable cases since mid-April. Those are patients who meet "clinical criteria" and "epidemiological evidence" for having the virus but haven't had confirmation from a lab test. It also includes people who likely died of the virus without being tested.
The Washington Post reports the states that are not complying with the guidance did count probable cases in previous outbreaks, such as H1N1. This includes some of the largest states in the country, like California, New York and Texas.
The CDC's count of U.S. coronavirus cases is nearing 2 million, with over 112,000 deaths.
States have no obligation to report cases to the CDC, but they almost always do. A lack of accurate data may give the CDC an incomplete picture of the disease's spread and complicate containment efforts.