Science

CDC ends daily reporting of COVID case and death figures, in shift to weekly updates

More than two years after publishing data on COVID-19 cases and deaths on a daily basis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that it would move to weekly updates for its nationwide tracking of the virus.

The agency wrote in a post to explain the move, “To allow for additional reporting flexibility, reduce the reporting burden on states and jurisdictions, and maximize monitoring resources, CDC is moving toward a weekly reporting cadence.” growing up.”

Starting October 20, state and local health departments will now have to report new COVID-19 cases and deaths to the agency every week on Wednesday.

The CDC’s COVID-19 community-level rating, which guides recommendations on whether counties should take steps such as masking to curb hospitalizations, already updated only weekly on Thursday are done. COVID-19 forecasts updated by the agency will also come now a day later on Thursday.

CDC’s move to drop daily COVID-19 reporting follows several states and others countriesWhich had already stopped releasing these daily metrics earlier this year.

Health officials have long acknowledged that new COVID-19 cases are now being largely underestimated, because of widespread use of unrestricted home tests for the virus.

The agency also moved in the summer to shift from daily to weekly reporting of vaccinations, which is now published only on Thursdays.

Other parts of CDC’s online COVID-19 tool are also being closed this month.

A “self-checker” chatbot helps people figure out when to seek tests and medical care on Friday. CDC’s Country-by-Country travel notice Because the virus was eradicated earlier this week.

For now, the CDC is still publishing data on COVID-19 hospitalizations that are collected daily through a different agency: the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It is not clear whether the daily reporting of these figures will continue after the COVID-19 hospitalization data is handed over. Under the control of the CDC in December.

The change in weekly reporting echoes the way the CDC tracks some other viruses. For example, the agency has long published a weekly report on data collected about influenza surveillance across the country.

However, the CDC is still publishing daily updates of its cases of monkeypox virus outbreaks, even as some countries overseas have moved to weekly updates and the pace of new cases in the US has slowed. Is.

It comes even as federal health officials prepare for a possible recurrence of the last two deadly winter waves of COVID-19, which have been linked with a possibly severe flu season,

“I was on the phone just two nights ago with colleagues in health departments across the country, and everyone is having the same experience,” said President Dr. Anthony Fauci. outgoing Chief Medical Advisor said on Tuesday at an event organized by the University of Southern California.

Fauci cited a nationwide “significant reduction” in reported cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19.

But he warned that a range of new forms are now popping up across the country, as well as the risk of respiratory diseases every winter, suggesting that “it would suddenly be a bit unsettling to say that we’re all done with it.” kind of.”

“While we can feel good that we’re headed in the right direction, we can’t let our guard down,” Fauci said.

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