COVID source callout: States go dark on prison case numbers

We’ve noted in recent months that several states have scaled down their COVID-19 reporting: states are providing fewer metrics, updating their dashboards less frequently, or both. According to the UCLA COVID Behind Bars data project, these changes are also hitting state carceral agencies—responsible for reporting COVID-19 cases in prisons and jails—right as Delta causes new outbreaks in these facilities. 

Read More

Vaccine requirements are the next big strategy

After vaccine incentives largely failed to drive up vaccination numbers, government agencies and corporations alike are now opting for requirements. Hundreds of thousands of Americans learned this week that, in order to keep their jobs, they need to get their shots—or go through a more arduous process like weekly COVID-19 testing.

Read More

Breakthrough case reporting: Once again, outside researchers do the CDC’s job

Now, Delta is causing the vast majority of cases—and the CDC still isn’t reporting on non-severe breakthroughs. As a result, entities outside the federal government are once again compiling data from states in order to fill in gaps left by the national public health agency. On Friday, both Bloomberg and NBC published breakthrough case analyses.

Read More

Unpacking Delta numbers from this week’s headlines

It’s no surprise that Delta (B.1.617.2) is bad news. From the moment it was identified in India, this variant has been linked to rapid transmission and rapid case rises, even in areas where the vaccination rates are high. This week, however, the CDC’s changed mask guidance—combined with new reports on breakthrough cases associated with Delta—has triggered widespread conversation about precisely how much damage this variant can do.

Read More

National numbers, August 1

Not only is the Delta variant driving a case rise, it’s driving an exponential case rise. This week, about 466,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported; that number is more than five times higher than what we saw during the week ending July 2.

Read More

COVID source shout-out: Transparency in Utah

Utah hasn’t hit 70% adult vaccinations yet—but a recent data error led state officials to erroneously announce the benchmark had been hit. Spencer Cox, Utah’s governor, posted an apology on Twitter that drew attention for his commitment to transparency and accountability.

Read More