CDC switches to weekly COVID case reporting
By Hannah Lee
Since COVID was declared a state of emergency by the World Health Organization in January 2020, the CDC has reported daily case numbers. But starting Oct. 20th, the CDC switched to reporting cases and deaths weekly.
According to the CDC, “To allow for additional reporting flexibility, reduce the reporting burden on states and jurisdictions, and maximize surveillance resources, CDC is moving to a weekly reporting cadence for line level and aggregate case and death data.” The CDC’s COVID-19 Community Level ratings, which are a guide to whether or not certain counties should be masking or social distancing to curb hospitalizations, are already updated weekly on Thursdays, and data for COVID cases in the US will be updated on Wednesdays. So what does this mean?
The CDC not doing daily reporting anymore follows many states and counties that have also decided to do the same. According to John Hopkins University and Medicine, many states already had varied reporting systems, which complicated tracking the virus — the most recent data is from September.
COVID is not the only virus that the CDC does weekly tracking for — influenza is also tracked weekly. Other forms of the CDC’s online tools are also being scrapped. A self “checker” that helped inform people of when to seek medical care and testing was taken off on Oct.7. The CDC’s travel notice for the virus that examined cases county-by-county was also scrapped earlier that week.
The World Health Organization continues to label the coronavirus pandemic as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.