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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 Maine’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 regularly provide total tests in terms of unique people tested
  • 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 race data for 88% of cases and 83% of deaths, and ethnicity data for 69% of cases and 67% of deaths

Long-Term Care

Serious issues exist:

  • does not provide per-facility data
  • does not break out staff cumulative deaths state-wide
  • does not break out resident cumulative deaths state-wide
  • provides the following metrics only via email outreach: Staff Cumulative Cases statewide, Res Cumulative Cases statewide, Combined Staff Res Cumulative Deaths statewide, Staff Outbreak Cases statewide, Res Outbreak Cases statewide, Combined Staff Res Current Outbreak Deaths statewide, Total Number of Facilities