What is the COVID-19 Data Dispatch?

About the publication

Every Sunday, the COVID-19 Data Dispatch explores the state of COVID-19 data in the U.S. Learn what the major public health agencies are up to, which new resources are coming online, and how to use data to understand the pandemic’s impact on your community. New articles are posted to this site each week, and the highlights are sent to newsletter subscribers.

We aim to answer these questions for readers:

  • How is COVID-19 impacting my community?
  • How do I communicate those impacts to my friends, family, and neighbors?
  • Why is tracking this pandemic in the U.S. so complicated?
  • What are public health experts, data scientists, and journalists doing to make sense of those complications?
  • Where did the country’s public health system go wrong, and how can I help?

Articles are supplemented with a growing body of resources on COVID-19 data geared towards reporters and other communicators.

Since this project started in July, we have featured at least one COVID-19 data source in the newsletter each week. Check out the full list of sources here. We also maintain detailed annotations on data sources for COVID-19 vaccinations and cases in K-12 schools in the U.S. More resources are under development.

Become a member of the COVID-19 Data Dispatch: connect with a community of data nerds and keep the publication accessible for all readers.

The readers of this newsletter include data journalists, science communicators, educators, and many other concerned citizens working to keep their communities safe. Our membership program invites readers to share news, resources, and advice in an exclusive Slack server. Members will also get access to data tipsheets, cleaned datasets, visualizations, and other resources.

The support of members will help keep this publication free for all readers as the pandemic continues to rage across the U.S. For more details on our costs, see this page.

About the writer

Betsy Ladyzhets has been immersed in the COVID-19 data world since March 2020. She’s currently an independent data journalist on the science and health beat, open for freelance work in addition to her efforts as founder and EIC of the COVID-19 Data Dispatch.

Previously, she managed the Science & Health vertical at online data journalism outlet Stacker and was a data entry volunteer at the COVID Tracking Project, where she worked on the core Testing and Outcomes dataset and the COVID Racial Data Tracker. Her past work has also appeared in Science News, The Open Notebook, and other popular science publications. She graduated from Barnard College in 2019 with a dual degree in Biology and English (and way too many blog posts.)

Read more about Betsy on her portfolio website. Find her on Twitter @betsyladyzhets, and send her feedback at betsy@coviddatadispatch.com.

For more details on how she compiles the newsletter, see this page.

Betsy Ladyzhets

Disclaimer: Although Betsy volunteered for the COVID Tracking Project, this publication is an entirely separate project that reflects only her own reporting and explanations. Nothing published in the COVID-19 Data Dispatch communicates on behalf of the Project in any way.

Design: The COVID-19 Data Dispatch’s logo is by Megan Biggs.