Q: Each day when the COVID-19 statistics are published, there is a number for active positive cases. How could anyone actually know this number?

A: It's true that active positive cases are one of the statistics that are tracked and then publicized on a regular basis. For instance, North Dakota's total number of active cases as of Wednesday was 9,977. That number included 1,200 new positive cases that day.

During a Tuesday interview with Grand Forks Public Health Director Debbie Swanson -- broadcast live on the Herald's website -- the Herald asked about the process to identify positive cases and also how the number is determined.

"The active number of cases that is reported each day is based on testing. It may not accurately reflect all of the cases out there in the community or in Grand Forks County," Swanson said. "But it does reflect those individuals that have tested positive. Keep in mind, people might test positive and have a wide variety of symptoms but it does mean that the virus was present in their body and they tested positive for it."

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