This post by is a powerhouse of thinking about the complexities of testing data. It details a policy change at , but it's also an incredible research document that reflects hundreds of hours of distributed effort.
Many states have moved toward greater transparency about their test data reporting methods, and we’re making changes to better represent what they publish. There's also a "better" way states/territories could be counting tests. Read more on our blog.
We are in the process of changing the total test results in our original totalTestResults API field for each state from positive+negative to directly reported totals, one state at a time, preferring Test Encounters or Specimens as the unit for total tests.