In recent weeks, several states have cut back on their COVID-19 data reporting frequency. Though, as I wrote on June 20, this isn’t a new phenomenon—some states have always skipped updating their data on weekends—the trend signifies that U.S. public health agencies are reallocating time and resources from their COVID-19 dashboards to other programs.
One major federal data source has recently made a similar change. The Community Profile Reports, those extensive PDF reports and Excel files that contain everything from vaccination coverage to hospital capacity, are now published on Tuesdays and Fridays only. (Previously, these reports were posted every day.)
Now, a lot of the data that one can find in the Community Profile Reports are also available from other sources—the CDC COVID Data Tracker, the CDC’s data portal, HHS Protect, etc. The main draw of these reports is that they compile so much info in one place, including data for counties and metro areas. I can understand why the HHS data team may want to cut down on their update schedule to free up resources for other projects. (More variant data, maybe?)
But what really annoys me is, someone at the HHS appears to have… shuffled the order of download links on the Community Profile Report page? That “Attachments” section with all of the PDFs and Excel files going back to December used to be in chronological order, with the most recent files at the top. Now, the order is completely random.
I shouldn’t have to Cntrl+F to the middle of the page to find the most recent report. Come on.