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About volunteering

We need volunteers with ongoing time in their schedules to support the following initiatives:

  • Data Entry: You can help capture COVID-19 data manually by visiting state and territory public health websites to enter it into our spreadsheets. You can work with the core testing and outcomes data that we collect and publish every day, with the race data that we collect and publish twice a week, or with the long-term care data that we collect and publish once a week. No experience required beyond a general familiarity with spreadsheets, preferably Google Sheets, and experience with or ability to learn Slack. Initial training takes about 90 minutes.
  • Data Quality: After learning to do data entry, you can help investigate and resolve issues to make sure our data remains high-quality, clean, and well-documented.
  • Data Infrastructure: After learning to do data entry, you can help maintain and create custom data harvesting and quality assurance tools (JavaScript and Python preferred).
  • Data Viz: You can help our team create data visualizations, charts, and illustrations for our website (Tableau and D3 preferred).
  • Science Communication: You can help vet data and written content to make sure it meets public health and epidemiological standards (post-graduate education in public health, epidemiology, infectious diseases, microbiology, or a related field required, and science communication experience preferred).

We are looking for volunteers who can commit to volunteering a few hours a week through March 2021 who are currently located in the United States, but if you don’t meet those criteria you will still be considered. (Some of the data we collect is not visible outside the United States.)

Note that we do not do contact tracing: we collect all data by visiting state and territory websites.

All our work takes place in Slack, so it’s important that our volunteers either have some experience with Slack or be able to pick it up quickly. Please let us know in the skills and experience section if you have experience with Slack.

If you are starting in Data Entry, see the below schedule of Data Entry activities to see what might work best for you. Most Data Entry volunteers commit to at least one 2- to 3-hour shift per week. If you mainly have time on weekends, for instance, you might volunteer to do core testing and outcomes data collection, as that project has weekend shifts. Other teams usually work mainly on weekdays and and have one or two short meetings during the week, although volunteers can otherwise set their own schedule.

Data Entry Schedule Graphic

Tell us more about yourself

We will show your email internally to other volunteers but will not share it elsewhere.
Personal website, LinkedIn page, social media handle, or other website that will tell us about you. If you are a journalist or science writer, please link to a writing sample here or in the final question.
We welcome high school and college students, but we interview all volunteer applicants who are under 18 years old.
Examples: Slack, Python, React, Gatsby, JavaScript, Tableau, data visualization, editing, social media, public health, research, journalism, science writing, etc.
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