In India’s COVID-19 catastrophe, figures are only part of the story

India’s COVID-19 curve resembles a vertical line right now. An already fragile health infrastructure is on its knees, the government has shown itself to be incapable. There are no hospital beds to be had, no medicines, no oxygen, no emergency care; even the dead have to endure 20-hour queues for last rites. A nine-day streak of 300,000-plus new cases daily has ended with fresh infections crossing the 400,000 mark on May 1. More than 3,000 COVID-related deaths have been recorded daily for three consecutive days. Still, the worst, experts say, is yet to come.

Read More

Community Profile Reports now have vaccination data

You can now get vaccination numbers for U.S. states, counties, and metropolitan areas in an easily downloadable format: the Community Profile Reports published daily by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These reports are basically the HHS’s one-stop shop for COVID-19 data, including information on cases, deaths, PCR tests, hospitalizations—and now, vaccines.

Read More

The short-term future of COVID-19 testing

This week, I had a story on COVID-19 testing published in Slate’s Future Tense vertical. The piece explores how testing will change in the next few months as more Americans become vaccinated and rapid tests become more widely available. In the CDD today, I’m excited to share one of the interviews I conducted for the piece, with Dan Larremore, a statistician at the University of Colorado and long-time advocate for the potential of rapid tests.

Read More

Some personal news

This will be my final week at my day job, the data journalism publication Stacker. I do not have another staff job lined up. Instead, I’ll be freelancing and working on the COVID-19 Data Dispatch full-time.

Read More

CDC says 80% of teachers and childcare workers are vaccinated, fails to provide more specifics

This past Tuesday, April 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out a press release that I found heartening, yet confusing. “Nearly 80 percent of teachers, school staff, and childcare workers receive at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine,” the release proclaims. These vaccinations include “more than 2 million” people in these professions who received doses through the federal retail pharmacy program and “5-6 million” vaccinated through state programs, all of whom received shots before the end of March.

Read More

National numbers, May 2

New cases are down for the second week in a row—good news after the 70,000-plus peak of mid-April. Still, 50,000-plus cases in a day is no good place to plateau, new hospital admissions remain over 5,000 a day, and vaccinations are slowing: the U.S. is now averaging about 2.6 million shots a day, down from 3.4 million a couple of weeks ago.

Read More

The CDD was profiled by a Greek media lab

The Incubator for Media Education and Development, or iMedD, is a nonprofit based in Athens, Greece that supports new practices, credibility, and transparency in international journalism. Kelly Kiki, a journalist and project manager at iMedD’s content production arm, wrote a profile of my work at the COVID-19 Data Dispatch.

Read More

J&J is back on the menu

After 10 days, the pause on the J&J vaccine has been lifted. According to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, there have been about 1.9 cases of severe blood clotting per million people who had received the J&J vaccine. It has been re-authorized for use in people aged 18 and older, now with an addendum to the label and fact sheet warning of the risk of blood clots.

Read More