COVID source callout: Iowa

Iowa has taken down a page on its dashboard that used to report test positivity by school district. The page now goes to a 404 error, and there’s no mention of school data elsewhere on the state’s COVID-19 website.

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Diving into COVID-19 data #1: Workshop recap

Our first workshop happened this week! Drew Armstrong, Bloomberg News’s senior editor for health care, talked about his work on the publication’s Vaccine Tracker; and Arielle Levin Becker, director of communications and strategic initiatives for the Connecticut Health Foundation, discussed how to navigate COVID-19 race and ethnicity data. Thank you to everyone who attended—we had a great turnout!

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How to talk about COVID-19 vaccines

I wrote a tipsheet on covering COVID-19 vaccines for The Open Notebook. The piece provides tools and resources specifically for writers on the vaccine beat—both those who have been covering the pandemic for months and those who are now incorporating vaccine news into other aspects of their reporting. But this advice also applies more broadly to anyone simply talking about vaccines.

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National numbers, Feb. 21

The number of COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals is now the lowest it’s been since early November. About 7,000 new patients were admitted each day this week—while this is still a huge number, it’s a notable drop from the peak (18,000 per day) we saw earlier in the winter.

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National numbers, Feb. 14

The 7-day average for new cases was under 100,000 this week for the first time since October—but it’s still far above the records that America set during our spring and summer surges. n White House briefings this week, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that it will take a unified effort for us to continue this trend, especially as coronavirus variants pose an increased threat.

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