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.
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 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.
As we head into the holidays with limited COVID-19 testing and undercounted case numbers, wastewater surveillance is the best way to evaluate how much the virus is spreading in your region. And it’s now available in more places than ever, thanks to the many research groups and public health agencies setting up sewage testing.
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.
As of this Thursday, the CDC is updating COVID-19 case and death data every week instead of every day. Here are some thoughts on interpreting COVID-19 data in the wake of this change, citing an article I recently wrote for The Atlantic.
Last Sunday, 60 Minutes aired an interview with President Joe Biden in which he declared the pandemic is “over,” noting that everyone at the Detroit Auto Show “seems to be in pretty good shape.” But there are millions of Americans Biden wasn’t seeing: people who aren’t in good shape.