National numbers, November 28

As is typically the case on holidays, Thanksgiving has made COVID-19 reporting a bit wonky. Still, cases seem to continue trending up at the national level. The U.S. is now reporting close to 100,000 new cases a day, and holiday travel is likely to push this number up further.

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Reader question: How long will COVID-19 restrictions continue?

A couple of weeks ago, I received a reader question from a friend of mine who recently got engaged! He and his fiancée are planning a wedding in summer 2023, and he asked me: “How likely do you think it is that (1) the COVID-19 pandemic remains a serious danger to our safety in the summer of 2023 and (2) the government still has the energy to keep enforcing COVID-19 restrictions?”

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National numbers, November 21

Last week, I wrote that the U.S. was at the start of a winter surge; this week, the surge is beginning to take off. Nationwide, cases are up 16% from last week to this week, and up 24% from two weeks ago. It’s not as sharp of an increase as what we saw during the first Delta surge in the summer, but it’s still concerning.

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(COVID) source shout-out: Data Is Plural

This week, I want to give a shout-out to Data Is Plural: a newsletter by Jeremy Singer-Vine, the data editor at BuzzFeed News. Every Wednesday, Singer-Vine sends out links to and notes on a few interesting datasets, ranging from toxic pollution to movie script analysis.

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Thinking about COVID-19 risk as winter approaches

I recently received a question from a COVID-19 Data Dispatch reader that followed a similar theme to many questions that readers, friends, and family members have asked me in the past few months. The question essentially outlined an event in the reader’s personal life that they’d been invited to attend, and asked for my advice: should they go? How risky was this event?

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Public health data in the US is “incredibly fragmented”: Zoe McLaren on booster shots and more

This week, I had a new story published at the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight. The story explores the U.S.’s failure to comprehensively track breakthrough cases, and how that failure has led officials to look towards data from other countries with better tracking systems as they make decisions about booster shots. In the CDD, I’m sharing one of the interviews I did for that story.

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