COVID source shout-out: Household Pulse Survey

A lot of COVID-19 data sources have become decidedly less reliable since the beginning of 2022, through a combination of official case counts becoming poorer reflections of prevalence (thanks to less PCR testing) and fewer resources devoted to data tracking at public health departments from local agencies up to the CDC.

But one federal source has remained fairly consistent: the Household Pulse Survey. This project, run by the Census in collaboration with a variety of other government agencies, started in spring 2020 as a way to track how the pandemic was impacting Americans’ daily lives. Every two weeks, government researchers randomly survey U.S. adults with questions ranging from their employment status to mental health. As of this summer, the Household Pulse Survey also includes data on Long COVID prevalence.

For every question asked by the Household Pulse Survey, you can find results over time, by state, and for a variety of other demographics: race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality, etc. I appreciate that this source has continued measuring the pandemic’s impact, and I think journalists (myself included!) could be referencing it a lot more.

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