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Some US states reduce daily Covid reports

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Some US states reduce daily Covid reports

A growing number of US states have stopped providing daily updates on the number of new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths, combined with the rise of at-home testing, the results of which are often not officially registered, The pandemic situation is creating a more uneven real-time look.

While most states still report days of each week, more than a dozen have made the cut once or twice a week, according to a New York Times database. Arizona, Hawaii, Kentucky, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina have moved into the weekly report, as has the District of Columbia. Wyoming has moved to report twice a week. Public health officials have said further cuts are expected.

Nationally, there is a decline in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths, and some experts are concerned that a drop in reporting could lead to blind spots if the pandemic resumes.

Several states have recently lifted pandemic restrictions, even as cases have risen again in Europe, which often serves as a bellwether for the US trajectory of the pandemic. Although testing has declined in some countries, about 20 percent of cases globally have been detected in the past two weeks, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Some states even slashed their data reporting frequency last summer, as a wave of new cases from the delta variant hit. But this time there are significant differences, health officials said.

“We’ve gone to a place where we don’t need to know the absolute numbers,” said Dr Marcus Plesia, chief medical officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. , Washington DC, and the US Territory. “We can still monitor trends in people who are testing in public settings. We still have a good sense of where the absolute numbers are going.”

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He said the lack of reporting would not mean that states would be less prepared for new waves. Previous spikes have come from variants that were discovered and sequenced internationally, including Delta and Omicron. “It was just a matter of waiting until they got here,” said Dr. Plesia.

Dr., a testing specialist and a senior scholar at the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University. According to Gigi Gronwall, the benefits of daily data reporting have shifted as well.

“We saw it in June, tried to report it like the flu, and then it was urgent,” she said. “In June, the cases had gone down, and we didn’t have the delta yet. We didn’t have much demand for rapid antigen tests, and neither did we. Now the government has really tested everyone. People who are testing who are testing positive are definitely not telling their health departments. That’s why the data is very crappy. ,

She said other indicators are more valuable at this time, such as hospitalization and vaccination numbers and wastewater monitoring.

Dr. Plesia agreed, saying that it is high time to bring more reporting of COVID in line with how public health agencies track other infectious diseases. He said the result would be a more complete picture of the trajectory of the coronavirus as there would be more time to overcome fluctuations in the daily data. In fact, the daily data “does not necessarily affect the interventions we are considering,” he said.

However, some researchers cautioned that the fallacy of state reporting on pandemic metrics presented a threat to response times.

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Dr Sam Scarpino, managing director of pathogen surveillance at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Institute for Epidemiology Prevention, said: “Infectious diseases like SARS-CoV-2 move very quickly, and so we need to respond quickly to rising cases or early signs of a new variant. is required.” , “Early action prevents school closures, gives mandate and saves lives. However, if we wait for days or weeks or even months for new data, it is difficult to see the signals quickly.”

Sarah Kahlani And Lisa Vannan Jones Contributed to reporting.

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