US Cases Are Down: Is That Because Of Good Progress Or Bad Data?
Testing is declining, calling the numbers into question, according to a CNBC analysis. In related news, 30 current and former members of a federal advisory panel raise alarms about the integrity of COVID-19 data hospitals are now reporting to HHS instead of the CDC. News outlets report on the system's bumpy start.
Accuracy Of U.S. Coronavirus Data Thrown Into Question As Decline In Testing Skews Drop In New Cases
For the first time in months, the daily growth of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. has steadily fallen over the past two weeks, giving some hope to U.S. officials who proclaimed there were “signs of progress” in Southern states that were hit particularly hard. ... But testing shortages in key states and other gaps in Covid-19 data call into question the accuracy of those numbers and whether the outbreak in the U.S. is really improving or whether cases are simply going undiagnosed, epidemiologists say. (Feuer and Rattner, 8/12)
The New York Times:
Health Experts Warn About Perils Of New Virus Data Collection System
Nearly three dozen current and former members of a federal health advisory committee, including nine appointed or reappointed by the health secretary, Alex M. Azar II, are warning that the Trump administration’s new coronavirus database is placing an undue burden on hospitals and will have “serious consequences on data integrity.” The advisers, all current or former members of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, issued their warning in a previously unpublished letter shared with The New York Times. (Gay Stolberg, 8/12)
The COVID Tracking Project:
Hospitalization Data Reported By The HHS Vs. The States: Jumps, Drops, And Other Unexplained Phenomena
In mid-July the federal government began requiring hospitals to report COVID-19 data to the HHS rather than to the CDC. We compared current hospitalization data reported by the federal government and state health departments since the switch, and found contradictions that suggest the federal data continue to be unreliable, while the state datasets face their own challenges. (Glassman and Ladyzhets, 8/11)
The Wall Street Journal:
Covid-19 Data Reporting System Gets Off To Rocky Start
Public release of hospital data about the coronavirus pandemic has slowed to a crawl, one month after the federal government ordered states to report it directly to the Department of Health and Human Services and bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Key indicators, such as estimates of the portion of inpatient beds occupied by Covid-19 patients, are lagging by a week or more, making it harder for citizens and local officials to get a handle on how the pandemic is progressing and for agencies to allocate supplies of antiviral drugs and personal protective equipment, public-health experts say. (Whelan, 8/11)