This past Friday, the CDC’s COVID-19 data team announced that its newsletter, the COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review, will send its final issue on Friday, May 12. That’s the day after the federal public health emergency for COVID-19 ends.
This week, I have a new story out in Gothamist and WNYCabout norovirus, a nasty stomach bug that appears to be spreading a lot in the U.S. right now. The story shares some NYC-specific norovirus information, but it also talks more broadly about why it’s difficult to find precise data on this virus despite its major implications for public health. Reporting this story led me to reflect on how COVID-19 has revealed cracks in the country’s infrastructure for tracking a lot of common pathogens.
The national COVID-19 plateau continues. As I’ve been saying for a few weeks now, COVID-19 spread has dropped significantly from its high during the winter holidays, but it has not fallen to the low levels we’ve previously seen this time of year due to a combination of lax precautions and the latest Omicron variant, XBB.1.5.
You might have seen some headlines like this in the last few weeks: COVID-19 was “mild” this winter. This winter was “better” than previous winters. COVID-19 is becoming “another seasonal virus” like flu and RSV. But looking at the actual data, we can see this is far from the truth.
This past Monday, the White House announced that the federal public health emergency for COVID-19 will end in May. While this decision might be an accurate reflection of how most of the U.S. is treating COVID-19 right now, it has massive implications for Americans’ access to tests, treatments, vaccines—and data.
This week, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a major report about the state of wastewater surveillance for infectious diseases in the U.S. The report, written by a committee of top experts (and peer-reviewed before its release), is an extensive description of the promise and the challenges of wastewater testing.
As someone who’s been reporting on COVID-19 since the beginning, a new year is a good opportunity to parse out what feels like an eternity of pandemic reporting. So this week, I reflected on the major trends and topics I hope to cover in 2023—both building on my work from prior years and taking it in new directions.
In the last week of December, I had a major story published at MuckRock, USA TODAY, and local newsrooms in Arizona, Oregon, and Texas. The story explains that official COVID-19 statistics underestimate the pandemic’s true toll—particularly on people of color, who are more likely to have their deaths inaccurately represented in mortality data.
The CDC is now updating its COVID-19 cases and deaths data weekly, instead of daily. This shift goes beyond the agency’s public dashboard: the CDC has also archived datasets with state- and county-level data providing COVID-19 cases and deaths.
I recently received a question from a reader, asking how to follow both COVID-19 and the flu in the county where she lives. For COVID-19, county-level data sources aren’t too hard to find; for the flu, this is much harder.