CDC stepped up sequencing, but the data haven’t kept pace

The CDC has stepped up its sequencing efforts in a big way over the past few months, going from 3,000 a week in early January to 10,000 a week by the end of March. But data on the results of these efforts are scarce and uneven, with some states doing far more sequencing than others. And the CDC itself publishes data with gaping holes and lags that make the numbers difficult to interpret.

Read More has gone public—what’s actually in the database?

Last week, we included in our featured sources section. The initiative aims to document 10 million plus cases in one source. Instead of just listing numbers of positive cases and deaths, they collect individual cases and gather information about said case. What was their age range? Gender? When did symptoms develop? The dataset has room for more than 40 variables aside from just “tested positive.” While there are lots of dashboards and tracking sources, none collect detailed data about (anonymized!) individual cases.

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Goodnight, COVID Tracking Project

A couple of hours after I send today’s newsletter, I will do my final shift of data entry work on the COVID Tracking Project’s Testing and Outcomes dataset. Then, later in the evening, I will do my final shift on the COVID Racial Data Tracker. And then I will probably spend another hour or two bothering my fellow volunteers on Slack because I don’t want it to be over quite yet.

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