CDC says it will soon end daily COVID data reporting
After more than two years of the pandemic, the CDC announces it will shift to weekly updates later this month.
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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that it will no longer provide daily COVID-19 updates, instead shifting to a weekly format.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the CDC has been sharing data on positive COVID cases and deaths on a daily basis.
The CDC wrote that the decision to move to weekly reporting is, “to allow for additional reporting flexibility, reduce the reporting burden on states and jurisdictions, and maximize surveillance resources.”
Starting October 20, state and local health departments will only be required to report new COVID-19 cases and deaths to the agency each Wednesday. The data processing cutoff for jurisdictions will be every Wednesday at 10 a.m. for line level case and death data, and 5 p.m. for aggregate case and death data.
This is a continuation of a trend that the CDC has been implementing in recent times.
The COVID-19 Community Level ratings, which guide recommendations on whether counties should be taking steps to curb a surge of positive cases and hospitalizations, have already switched to providing weekly updates on Thursdays.
Many states and other countries have also already stopped issuing daily reports.
Dr. Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 coordinator, said that the switch to weekly surveillance often led to inconsistent information.
“What I think CDC is doing is moving to a weekly cadence that reflects where states are across the country,” he said.
With at-home tests becoming more commonplace, it is likely that positive COVID-19 cases were being unreported, and therefore largely undercounted.
The reporting of vaccinations also shifted from daily to weekly reporting during the summers, and are now published only on Thursdays.
The CDC will continue its daily hospitalization reports, collected by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It is being reported that the data will be handed over to the CDC’s control in December.
The nation has seen a considerable drop in the number of COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the outgoing chief medical adviser to the President, said it’s no time to let our guard down.
“Right now, it looks like we’re going in the right direction. However, we are entering into the winter months, where no matter what the respiratory disease is there’s always a risk of an uptick in respiratory diseases,” he said.
The U.S. is averaging 43,692 cases and 322 deaths per day as of Thursday, according to the CDC. Cases are much lower from a January peak, when the U.S. saw an average of over 800,000 recorded infections per week.