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For months, we have been collecting COVID-19 data, scrutinizing publicly available data definitions, and engaging in frequent conversations with jurisdictions to understand the data they share.

During this process, we have focused on three aspects of COVID-19 data reporting: 1) how the state defines and reports key metrics, such as testing data, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, 2) how the state presents information about COVID-19 in long-term-care facilities, and 3) how the state reports race and ethnicity data.

Our assessment below reflects both the thoroughness of Arizona’s reporting and the completeness and clarity of their data descriptions. We hope this work will not only help our data users to better grasp the limitations of these numbers but also might help health officials to understand the differences in data reporting across jurisdictions.

We require data definitions to be accessible from a state’s data pages and presented in a location where it is clear they will be maintained. Examples include data definition documents, data FAQs, dashboard footnotes, or definitions appearing daily in press releases.

Last updated March 2, 2021

State-level metrics

Few issues exist:

  • does not provide a testing metric clearly including only viral RNA tests
  • does not regularly provide antigen total test counts
  • does not regularly provide antigen positive test counts
  • data for multiple key metrics is hard to discover or access
  • does not provide latest tests and cases data in machine readable format
  • does not provide historical tests and cases data in machine readable format

Race and Ethnicity

Some issues exist:

  • does not report race / ethnicity data for tests
  • reports Asian or Pacific Islander, a category that has not been used for federal data since 1997, making comparisons more difficult
  • reports race data for 82% of cases and 93% of deaths

Long-Term Care

Serious issues exist:

  • The only long-term-care data Arizona provides is the cumulative number of facilities that have ever had a COVID-19 case. This is not enough data to analyze. Due to the lack of substantial information coming from the state, case and death data represents Arizona’s largest county, Maricopa County.
  • does not provide per-facility data
  • does not provide either staff or resident cumulative cases state-wide
  • does not provide either staff or resident cumulative deaths state-wide
  • does not provide either staff or resident cases for the current outbreaks state-wide