National numbers, Jan. 17

Two weeks out from New Years (and the subsequent reporting weirdness), cases seem to be stabilizing, somewhat. But “stabilizing,” at this point in the pandemic, still means ridiculous numbers. 220,000 new cases each day! That’s like the population of Baton Rouge, Louisiana getting diagnosed with COVID-19 every day.

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Was the Capitol invasion a superspreader event?

Like everyone else, I spent Wednesday afternoon watching rioters attack the nation’s Capitol. I was horrified by the violence and the ease with which these extremists took over a seat of government, of course, but a couple of hours in, another question arose: did this coup spread COVID-19?

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Meet your new intern

Hi! I’m Sarah, and I’m going to be helping out around here for the time being. I’m currently a junior at Barnard College (Betsy’s alma mater) studying cell and molecular biology, and I’m looking to go into health journalism after I graduate. When I’m not dreaming of an all-powerful national data dashboard, I’m writing as […]

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We’re not doing enough sequencing to detect B.1.1.7

A new, more transmissible strain of COVID-19 (known as B.1.1.7) has caused quite a stir these past few weeks. It surfaced in the United Kingdom and has been detected in eight states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New York, Texas, and Pennsylvania. The fact that a mutant strain happened isn’t a surprise, as RNA viruses mutate quite often. But as vaccines roll out, the spread of a new strain is yet another reminder that we’re nowhere near out of the woods yet.

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Vaccine confusion abounds—and this is the easy stage

Despite the federal government’s intense push to get vaccines through safety trials, that “last mile” step—from the Pfizer and Moderna factories to people’s arms—has been under-planned and underfunded. CDD analyzes publicly reported vaccination phases for every state and vaccine registration portals, along with other data updates.

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National numbers, Jan. 10

The nation is now recording an average of 3,000 deaths every day, more than the number of lives lost on September 11, 2001. Yet cases are still rising—the COVID Tracking Project reported a record 310,000 on January 8—and hospitals continue to fill with patients.

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School data update, Jan. 3

Many school districts across the nation will once again open for in-person instruction later this month. But data on how COVID-19 spreads in schools remain inadequate. At the request of one of my readers, I’ve updated my annotations of state K-12 data reporting, first published on December 6.

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Vaccination data update, Jan. 3

Despite the holidays, several more states began reporting vaccination data in the past week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also made a huge update: this national dashboard is now posting vaccination counts at the state level. And I made a vaccination data resource page!

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