The rise in new cases is slowing, but so is testing growth. Hospitalization data was highly erratic this week, but what we did see is alarming. Deaths are rising three weeks behind cases, which suggests a very difficult few weeks ahead for the United States.
The US is approaching half a million new cases of COVID-19 each week. States with major outbreaks including Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas all saw record high weekly hospitalizations and deaths. Meanwhile, worsening outbreaks in many other states threaten to increase the pandemic's death toll in the coming weeks.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, US states and territories have released more and more data. While there are still notable gaps in the data, the quality of the data offered by the states has improved dramatically.
The South continues to be the epicenter of surges in both cases and hospitalizations. In Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, and Texas, COVID-19 deaths have begun to climb following jumps in new cases. And for the first time since April, deaths are rising nationally.
We're up to 24 states publishing both confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths, and we're adding those data points into our API. But states are also using two different ways of deciding which deaths to count as COVID-19 deaths.
Before it made headlines with a sudden resurgence of its outbreak—and despite receiving early praise for its transparency—Florida’s COVID-19 data has been mired in trouble. Under public pressure and threat of lawsuits, the Florida Department of Health has gradually released more data, but some very important pieces remain missing.