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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 North Dakota’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 antigen positive test counts
  • does not provide numbers for patients currently on ventilators with COVID-19
  • data for multiple key metrics is hard to discover or access

Race and Ethnicity

Serious issues exist:

  • does not report race / ethnicity data for deaths, tests, and hospitalizations
  • does not report cases for: Hispanic or Latino people, and Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders
  • reports race data for 65% of cases

Long-Term Care

Some issues exist:

  • does not provide information about facilities with open and closed outbreaks, or date of last case
  • does not provide either staff or resident cumulative deaths by facility
  • does not provide either staff or resident cumulative cases state-wide
  • does not break out staff cumulative deaths state-wide
  • does not break out resident cumulative deaths state-wide
  • does not provide either staff or resident cases for the current outbreaks state-wide
  • does not provide a count of total number of facilities impacted
  • provides the following metrics only via email outreach: Staff Cumulative Cases per facility, Res Cumulative Cases per facility