On February 16, Iowa’s two COVID-19 dashboards—one dedicated to vaccination data, and one for other major metrics—will be decommissioned. The end of these dashboards follows the end of Iowa’s public health emergency declaration, on February 15.
While politicians at all levels have praised cash incentives, research has shown that this strategy has little impact on actually convincing Americans to get vaccinated. A recent investigation I worked on (at the Documenting COVID-19 project and the Missouri Independent) provides new evidence for this trend: the state of Missouri allocated $11 million for gift cards that residents could get upon receiving their first or second vaccine dose, but the vast majority of local health departments opted not to participate in the program—and a very small number of gift cards have been distributed thus far.
This weekend, I set out to see what data are now available on these booster shots. I updated my vaccination data in the U.S. resource page, which includes detailed annotations on every state’s vaccine reporting along with several national and international sources.
Last week, I called out the state of Nebraska for basically demolishing its COVID-19 vaccination data. While I was correct in writing that Nebraska’s weekly update is now incredibly sparse, I missed that the state has, in fact, brought back its COVID-19 dashboard—kind-of.
I invited Philip Nelson to contribute a post this week after reading his Tweets about his ongoing challenges in accessing his state’s hospitalization data. Basically, after Philip publicized a backend data service that enabled users to see daily COVID-19 patient numbers by individual South Carolina hospital, the state restricted this service’s use—essentially making the data impossible for outside researchers to analyze.
Many states have paused their school COVID-19 case reporting for the summer—and a few have stopped reporting school cases entirely. Hawaii appears to be an exception: this state actually improved its reporting for the new school year.
The divided communities made the news — but not all U.S. schools were fighting grounds. In fact, many districts managed to bring the majority of their students back into classrooms without breeding a dreaded COVID-19 outbreak. Here, at the COVID-19 Data Dispatch, we’re sharing stories from five such districts. The series will be published in installments: one profile a week for the next five weeks, followed by a conclusion with overall insights and lessons for fall 2021.