Reduced testing and reporting Blurry vivid images in the US
As states reported less frequently, changes in the virus’ trajectory revealed themselves more slowly. Nearly every state is reporting new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths five days a week or more in 2020 and 2021, but 23 states currently only release new data once a week, according to the Times. .
California, which used to update cumulative case and death figures every day of the week, now only does so twice per week. In Florida, case and death data are only released every two weeks. Just in the last week, many other public testing sites have shut down Alaska, Colorado and Rhode Island; Iowa is close the door more sites next weekend.
Virus figures have recently spiked around holidays like Memorial Day and June 16, during which many states typically pause reporting and then re-start monitoring later, a trend that is certain Will definitely continue this week, after the 4th of July weekend.
“Tracking the number of daily tests is less instructive than it used to be,” says Dr. Adalja. Today’s numbers should not be seen as a check of a sports team’s standings or daily scores, he added.
“I think testing plays a different role,” he said. “Even when tested at a different time, it is always underestimated.”
To get a local look at how the virus evolves, Dr. Adjala says he relied on hospital admissions as a percentage of its likelihood. He also checks the CDC’s community level tracker, including the number of new admissions and the number of beds used. He recommends shifting the focus to serious illness, rather than tracking the “explosion and bust of cases.”
Hospitalizations rose slightly throughout June, though remained low. Just over 33,000 people are in American hospitals with coronavirus every day, and fewer than 4,000 are in intensive care. Reports of new deaths remain below 400 a day, down from the country’s peak of more than 3,300 daily deaths in January 2021.
Lisa Waananen, Christine Chung and Alain Delaquérière contribution report.