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COVID-19 data definitions change frequently across the 56 jurisdictions we track, so we must sometimes update our data definitions to reflect the realities we find in the data. As we track additional data points and adjust the definition of current fields to accommodate changes from states and territories, we will update the definitions here. We will also publish update notices on the blog for major additions and changes. If you think you’ve spotted an error in the definitions or their use in our compiled data, please let us know.

Positive cases (confirmed and probable)

API field name: positive

Total number of people with confirmed OR probable COVID-19 reported by the state or territory (per the expanded CSTE case definition of April 5th, 2020 approved by the CDC). A confirmed case is a person who has a positive test result from an FDA approved diagnostic molecular test. A probable case is a person who either has presentable symptoms WITH epidemiological evidence or has BOTH a positive presumptive laboratory test AND also EITHER presentable symptoms OR epidemiological evidence. Epidemiological evidence refers either to close-proximity contact with a known case or travel history to an area with high disease incidence. According to the guidelines, FDA approved antibody and antigen tests are considered part of presumptive laboratory evidence.

Negative cases

API field name: negative

Individuals with a completed viral test that returned a negative result. For states / territories that do not report this number directly, we compute it using one of several methods, depending on which data points the state provides.

Pending

API field name: pending

Total number of viral tests that have not been completed as reported by the state or territory.

Total test results

API field name: totalTestResults

Where possible, we report total tests in units of people tested, rather than units of specimens tested. Currently computed by adding positive and negative values because some states do not report totals and to work around different reporting cadences for cases and tests.

Total tests (PCR)

API field name: totalTestsViral

Total number of completed viral tests (or specimens tested) as reported by the state or territory.

Positive tests (PCR)

API field name: positiveTestsViral

Total number of completed viral tests (or specimens tested) that return positive as reported by the state or territory.

Negative tests (PCR)

API field name: negativeTestsViral

Total number of completed viral tests (or specimens tested) that return negative as reported by the state or territory. For states and territories that do not directly report this number, it is calculated as the difference between the total number completed viral tests (“Total tests (PCR)”) and the total number of completed viral tests that return positive (“Positive tests (PCR)”) where appropriate.

Positive cases (PCR)

API field name: positiveCasesViral

Total number of people with a completed viral test that return positive as reported by the state or territory. This is equivalent to a confirmed case as per the expanded CSTE case definition of April 5th, 2020 approved by the CDC.

Deaths (confirmed and probable)

API field name: death

Total fatalities with confirmed OR probable COVID-19 case diagnosis (per the expanded CSTE case definition of April 5th, 2020 approved by the CDC). In states where the information is available, it only tracks fatalities with confirmed OR probable COVID-19 case diagnosis where COVID-19 is an underlying cause of death according to the death certificate based on WHO guidelines.

Deaths (confirmed)

API field name: deathConfirmed

Total fatalities with confirmed COVID-19 case diagnosis (per the expanded CSTE case definition of April 5th, 2020 approved by the CDC). In states where the information is available, it only tracks fatalities with confirmed COVID-19 case diagnosis where COVID-19 is an underlying cause of death according to the death certificate based on WHO guidelines.

Deaths (probable)

API field name: deathProbable

Total fatalities with probable COVID-19 case diagnosis (per the expanded CSTE case definition of April 5th, 2020 approved by the CDC). In states where the information is available, it only tracks fatalities with confirmed OR probable COVID-19 case diagnosis where COVID-19 is an underlying cause of death according to the death certificate based on WHO guidelines.

Recovered

API field name: recovered

Total number of people that are identified as recovered from COVID-19. States provide disparate definitions on what constitutes as a “recovered” COVID-19 case. Types of “recovered” cases include those who are discharged from hospitals, released from isolation after meeting CDC guidance on symptoms cessation, or those who have not been identified as fatalities after a number of days (30 or more) post disease onset. Specifics vary for each state or territory.

Currently hospitalized

API field name: hospitalizedCurrently

Individuals who are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Definitions vary by state / territory. Where possible, we report hospitalizations with confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases per the expanded CSTE case definition of April 5th, 2020 approved by the CDC.

Cumulative hospitalized

API field name: hospitalizedCumulative

Total number of individuals who have ever been hospitalized with COVID-19. Definitions vary by state / territory. Where possible, we report hospitalizations with confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases per the expanded CSTE case definition of April 5th, 2020 approved by the CDC.

Currently in ICU

API field name: inICUCurrently

Individuals who are currently hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit with COVID-19. Definitions vary by state / territory. Where possible, we report patients in the ICU with confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases per the expanded CSTE case definition of April 5th, 2020 approved by the CDC.

Cumulative in ICU

API field name: inIcuCumulative

Total number of individuals who have ever been hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit with COVID-19. Definitions vary by state / territory. Where possible, we report patients in the ICU with confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases per the expanded CSTE case definition of April 5th, 2020 approved by the CDC.

Currently on ventilator

API field name: onVentilatorCurrently

Individuals who are currently hospitalized under advanced ventilation with COVID-19. Definitions vary by state / territory. Where possible, we report patients on ventilation with confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases per the expanded CSTE case definition of April 5th, 2020 approved by the CDC.

Cumulative on ventilator

API field name: onVentilatorCumulative

Total number of individuals who have ever been hospitalized under advanced ventilation with COVID-19. Definitions vary by state / territory. Where possible, we report patients on ventilation with confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases per the expanded CSTE case definition of April 5th, 2020 approved by the CDC.

New cases

API field name: positiveIncrease Calculated. Daily increase in positive.

New deaths

API field name: deathIncrease Calculated. Daily increase in death.

New tests

API field name: totalTestResultsIncrease Calculated. Daily increase in totalTestResults.

New total hospitalizations

API field name: hospitalizedIncrease Calculated. Daily increase in hospitalizedCumulative.

Last Update (ET)

API field name: lastUpdateEt

The COVID Tracking Project compiles data once each day. States and territories update their data at different times, and sometimes more than once a day. This field lists the date and time that the most updated data best reflects for each state and territory captured in our daily compilation. Provided in Eastern Time.

Date

API field name: date

Date on which data was compiled by The COVID Tracking Project.

Data Quality Grade

API field name: dataQualityGrade

The COVID Tracking Project grade of the completeness of the data reporting by a state. See our State Grades page and our spreadsheet of grade factors for more information.

State (or Territory)

API field name: state

Two-letter abbreviation for the state or territory.

States

API field name: states

Number of states and territories included in the US dataset for this day.