Every week for several months, The COVID Tracking Project has been reviewing the data offerings of all 56 states and territories to see what data is being reported by which states and then giving each state a data quality grade based on what we find.
While a few states continue to lag behind in the COVID-19 data they offer to the public, we’re happy to report that on the whole, the state of the states’ COVID-19 data has improved dramatically. Since we rolled out a more detailed second-generation grading system in late April and began checking each state's data across 16 different metrics, the states' grades overall have shifted significantly to reflect big improvements in the quality of their public COVID-19 data.
On April 25th we found that the median grade of the 56 states and territories was a B. At that time, there were only 10 states that we rated as A+ or A. However now, about 12 weeks later, the median grade has improved to an A, with 32 states graded as A+ or A.
Of course, while the overall grades have improved, there is still plenty of room for improvement. As outbreaks flare up around the country, states like Florida continue to have troubling issues with their data. North Dakota has thus far refused to publicly release data on race and ethnicity, without which it is impossible to know how COVID-19 is affecting different communities, or to address any disparities. Several other states and territories are still not releasing some of the basic data categories we track. You can check out your own state's current data-quality grade and see out how the grades are calculated. If your state is behind on any of the 16 metrics we track, take a minute to contact your state officials and ask for better data. And please stay tuned for our new, more rigorous grading system, which we’ll be releasing in the coming weeks.
20,000 Hours of Data Entry: Why We Didn’t Automate Our Data Collection
Looking back on a year of collecting COVID-19 data, here’s a summary of the tools we automated to make our data entry smoother and why we ultimately relied on manual data collection.
A Wrap-Up: The Five Major Metrics of COVID-19 Data
As The COVID Tracking Project comes to a close, here’s a summary of how states reported data on the five major COVID-19 metrics we tracked—tests, cases, deaths, hospitalizations, and recoveries—and how reporting complexities shaped the data.
How Probable Cases Changed Through the COVID-19 Pandemic
When analyzing COVID-19 data, confirmed case counts are obvious to study. But don’t overlook probable cases—and the varying, evolving ways that states have defined them.