Where are we most likely to catch COVID-19?

This week, I wrote a story for Popular Science that goes over what we know (and don’t know) about the most common settings for COVID-19 infection. The story allowed me to revisit a database on superspreading events and issues with a lack of contact tracing data in the U.S.

Read More

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?

Read More

We need better contact tracing data

The majority of states do not collect or report detailed information on how their residents became infected with COVID-19. This type of information would come from contact tracing, in which public health workers call up COVID-19 patients to ask about their activities and close contacts. Contact tracing has been notoriously lacking in the U.S. due to limited resources and cultural pushback.

Read More

Contact tracing: Too little, too late, no public data

Contact tracing, or the practice of limiting disease spread by personally informing people that they have been exposed, has been a major method for controlling COVID-19 spread in other countries, such as South Korea. But in the U.S. the strategy is—like every other part of our nation’s COVID-19 response—incredibly patchwork. We have no national contact tracing app, much less a national contact tracing workforce, leaving states to set up these systems on their own.

Read More

I am once again asking: why are journalists doing this?

The COVID-19 At The White House Contact Tracker is attempting to trace over 200 contacts in connection with the President and his staff, after the President tested positive for COVID-19. The team behind it includes Benjy Renton, independent reporter on COVID-19 in higher education, Peter Walker, data visualization lead at the COVID Tracking Project, and Jesse O’Shea, MD, infectious disease expert at Emory University.

Read More