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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 Texas’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
  • does not provide numbers for patients currently on ventilators with COVID-19
  • does not regularly provide a cumulative number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19
  • 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
  • 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 3% of cases and 99% of deaths

Long-Term Care

Few issues exist:

  • The release of facility-level data by Texas is typically delayed by two weeks.
  • does not break out staff cumulative deaths by facility
  • does not break out staff cumulative deaths state-wide