COVID Source Callout: Florida

Analyzing COVID-19 data in Florida is like wading through a swamp with rocks in your backpack while wearing a hazmat suit and being shouted at by a hundred people who all think they can go faster than you.

There are so many problems with Florida’s data, that when Rebecca Glassman and Olivier Lacan, another CTP volunteer, tried to draft a short blog post about what was wrong, they ended up writing about 3,000 words. Florida reports a test positivity rate without publishing the underlying numbers for their calculation, making it impossible for researchers to check the figures. Florida doesn’t report probable cases and deaths, which is recommended by the CDC. Florida is mixing its PCR and antigen test results (and likely including both in its test positivity rate. Florida fails to alert people using its COVID-19 website and dashboard when the state faces data issues. Florida literally fired a scientist at its public health department who refused to manipulate the state’s data.

But hey, at least their daily PDF reports are under 1,000 pages now.

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