Featured sources, December 19

  • COVID-19 preventable mortality and leading cause of death ranking: The Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker has recently updated its analysis of preventable deaths from COVID-19 and the disease’s position among top causes of death in the U.S. In November 2021, COVID-19 was the #3 cause of death after heart disease and cancer. And, between June and November, more than 160,000 COVID-19 deaths could have been prevented with vaccinations.
  • AARP analysis of nursing home data: AARP researchers have analyzed and visualized data showing staff shortages in nursing homes, along with vaccination rates, PPE availability, and other related figures. According to AARP’s analysis, almost one-third of the 15,000 nursing homes in the U.S. “recently reported a shortage of nurses or aides,” as of mid-November. (H/t Al Tompkins’ COVID-19 newsletter.)
  • News workers laid off and outlets closed during the pandemic: At least 6,154 workers at news organizations were laid off between March 2020 and August 2021, according to a new report from Columbia Journalism Review. And at least 100 organizations closed during this time, though 14 have since resumed operations to some extent. The report includes detailed data on these layoffs and organization closures.
  • Recommendations to transform public health data in the U.S.: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a health philanthropy organization, has convened a commission of experts to reimagine how public health data are collected, shared, and used in the U.S. The commission put together this report, which includes recommendations ranging from data literacy to racial equity. While the report doesn’t include much data, per se, I wanted to include it in this week’s issue as a resource—and a source for potential story ideas.
  • Science Literacy Resource Guide: The Science Literacy Foundation, a new nonprofit in the scicomm space, had compiled this database of science literacy-related resources. It includes resources specific to journalism, communication, education, policy, and research; the guide isn’t COVID-specific, but has a lot of utility for continued pandemic coverage. (Disclaimer: I’ve previously worked on a project for the Science Literacy Foundation, but was not involved with this guide.)

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