We know COVID-19 is affecting Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color the most. But we need more and more standardized data to truly understand the impact to these communities—and to mitigate those disparities.
Only a third of states and territories with public vaccine data share information on the race and ethnicity of vaccine recipients, and those that do share it do so in highly unstandardized ways. But data from the federal government could answer the question of who’s getting vaccinated.
The federal government seems poised to provide high-quality data on vaccinations, but even a minimal dataset must answer key questions about who is getting vaccinated.
The announcement of a forthcoming national pandemic dashboard is heartening news for COVID-19 data folks all over the country. We have a few modest suggestions for the team that will undertake this work.
Our new data collection tracks the spread of COVID-19 in 65 cities and counties across the United States, and it lets us see how fatality rates vary widely across geographies.
Even with significant data unreported, the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color is clear.
Starting in August, new federal rules will require testing labs to report better data on the spread of COVID-19 in the United States. What happens to this new information is up to state and local officials. Journalists, open-data advocates, and members of the public can help us hold governments accountable for collecting and publishing this urgently needed data.
COVID-19 death data lags behind testing data in ways we mostly understand. What we only partly understand is how an infection rate that seems to be skewing younger will affect the death toll in surging regional outbreaks.
Early COVID-19 Race Data Shows Disproportionate Loss of Black Lives—It's Time for States to Release the Rest of the Data
We're still missing vital race and ethnicity data, but where the data is strongest—official COVID-19 death rates—the toll of longstanding public health inequities within Black communities is painfully clear. Five months into the US outbreak, several states are still not collecting or releasing complete demographic data required to address these disparities and safely re-open state economies. It's time for this to change.