TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – A shocking number out of Tarrant County Wednesday, with 1,673 new novel coronavirus cases. The number, however, now reflects probable cases, something state health officials have asked agencies to begin reporting.

Dallas County starting reporting the numbers last week, although their daily case count separates confirmed and probable cases. “It is maybe a more accurate reflection of transmission and what’s really going on in the community,” explained Dr. Philip Huang, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.

This all comes as the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) works to get agencies reporting uniformly across the board.

“This is not trying to do anything to distort the numbers,” said Dr. Huang.

So why track probable cases?

“If you don’t pick those cases up then a person who is probably infected is probably going to be slipping through the cracks, and they’re probably going to infect other people,” said Dr. Diana Cervantes, an epidemiologist with the University of North Texas Health Science Center. “That’s definitely going to be a problem for all of us.”

Dr. Cervantes said the case definitions are mostly for public health officials, so they’re following up with anyone who’s likely infected. She said it boils down to the health department casting a wider net to keep more people safe.

Tarrant County said Thursday’s numbers should look a little more normal because Wednesday’s included a backlog of probable cases.