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.
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.
Deaths are 25 percent higher than any other week since the pandemic began. Arizona has the worst per-capita new case numbers in the world. A month after the country’s first vaccinations for COVID-19, we still don’t have federal data showing who is receiving the vaccine.
For the last month, the public has had minimal visibility into the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines to long-term-care facilities. Last week, South Carolina published the names of nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities where residents and staff have been vaccinated. States—and the CDC—should follow suit.