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 Pennsylvania’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 antigen total test counts
- does not regularly provide antigen positive test counts
- does not regularly provide a cumulative number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19
Race and Ethnicity
Serious issues exist:
- does not report race / ethnicity data for tests and hospitalizations
- does not report cases for: Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, and American Indians or Alaska Natives
- does not report deaths for: Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, and American Indians or Alaska Natives
- reports race data for 63% of cases and 95% of deaths, and ethnicity data for 33% of cases and 98% of deaths
Some issues exist:
- does not provide Facility Type data
- does not provide information about facilities with open and closed outbreaks, or date of last case
- does not break out staff cumulative deaths by facility
- does not provide either staff or resident cases for the current outbreaks per facility
- 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