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 Arkansas’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
Some issues exist:
- does not have a clear full definition of cases
- does not regularly provide total tests in terms of unique people tested
- data for multiple key metrics is hard to discover or access
Race and Ethnicity
Some issues exist:
- does not report race / ethnicity data for tests and hospitalizations
- reports race data for 87% of cases, and ethnicity data for 100% of cases and 100% of deaths
Few issues exist:
- Arkansas provides cumulative resident and staff cases and deaths at the facility level, but only for facilities with active COVID-10 outbreaks. Facilities with closed outbreaks that have previously had COVID-19 outbreaks do not appear on Arkansas’ reports.