The change comes as health leaders gain a better understanding of how the virus works.By Royce Jones

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health is set to start including reinfections when releasing the statewide case counts of COVID-19 infections.

The change starts Monday and is because of the national guidance about how infections are reported.

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Under the revision, anyone who tests positive more than once at least 90 days apart will be counted more than once when the numbers are reported.

The state has always had information about who had been reinfected, but the previous reporting guidelines only required first-time cases to be reported.

The change in reporting comes as health leaders gain a better understanding of how the virus works.

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With those cases being reported now, doctors are hoping the data will help them better understand the virus and assess where we are when it comes to infection rates.

Allegheny Health Network Medical Director of Employee Health Dr. Randolph Peters said knowing specifically who is being infected and how often will offer information about natural immunity.

“I’ve lost count of the number of people who tell me they have natural immunity. They make it on the basis of assertions that are incorrect. … Lots of people tell me their natural immunity is stronger than ever because they have had COVID twice, so now their natural immunity has to be stronger. And that doesn’t even make any sense. If you didn’t have natural immunity for the first infection, why would you think you have it for the second?” Peters said.

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The doctor also pointed out while numbers and methodologies about COVID-19 have the tendency to fluctuate, the virus itself is evolving. And as long as that happens, the information will shift and adapt too.