COVID Data Report is a daily resource to stay safe and informed

COVID-19 is definitely on the rise again across the United States. Dr. Michael Hoerger, who tracks COVID-19 data, shared yesterday that currently: 

about 1.2% of the U.S. population is actively infectious, which is quite high for the summer, when COVID is not consciously in everyone's thoughts. We're talking about 4 million U.S. infections per week, which translates into 200,000 Long COVID cases if using a conservative estimate of 5% of infections.

COVID-19 is also on the rise in Europe. Spain, for example, is having a huge increase, as Madrid recently reached a 43.2% positivity rate, the highest thus far in the ongoing pandemic. This rise is no doubt at least partly due to Taylor Swift's Eras Tour Madrid shows at the end of May; a similar rise in COVID-19 rates happened in Paris after Swift appeared there earlier in May. 

You'd be forgiven if you didn't know that COVID was still a 'thing,' though, given the paucity of news coverage. It also doesn't help that some sources of data have been phased out. For example, Biobot, which for the last three years has been one of the best sources of wastewater data in the United States, recently announced that as of May 30, 2024, they were scaling back on their public data reporting and would no longer maintain their public COVID-19 dashboard. And as of April 30, 2024, the Department of Health and Human Services stopped requiring hospitals to report COVID-19 data—including "how many adult and pediatric patients were admitted to a reporting hospital for COVID-19, whether those patients' conditions were laboratory-confirmed or suspected and whether they were being cared for in an ICU"—to the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network.

Given that we have fewer data points tracking COVID-19 than we used to, I wanted to share an incredibly helpful resource that I personally utilize every single day to keep myself informed about the very real, very much still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Enter an unlikely hero who goes by "Data Report" who has been tirelessly (and often thanklessly) reporting COVID-19 data updates since the summer of 2022 (the first video on his YouTube is dated July 5, 2022). I've been watching him almost from the start, and his work has been really helpful to me, as he distills any available data he can find into a brief, informative 15-20 minute daily update. 

He presents information about COVID-19 and other viruses like H5N1 (avian flu), Mpox, tuberculosis, measles, and more. He presents national trends and state-by-state numbers, as well as international data. In his daily report, he gives data updates drawing from published research studies, news stories, epidemiologists and public health experts, the Walgreens Respiratory Index/COVID-19 Positivity Tracker, the Wastewater SCAN dashboard, CDC wastewater surveillanceNational Wastewater Surveillance System, CDC emergency department visits tracker, CDC epidemic status tracker, CDC variant tracker, and more. He also provides information on heat-related illness from NEMSIS, and on air quality from PurpleAir. He also has a separate channel where he provides a deeper dive on environmental issues, called "Climate Data Report."

I reached out to him to ask him why he spends so much of his free time gathering data and sharing information with the public. He revealed that he had a case of COVID in early 2020 before testing was available, and he developed Long COVID symptoms, including asthma, which he has to treat with regular injections. He's trying to raise awareness about both COVID and Long COVID through his daily reporting. He also further expanded on his motivations:

I felt people were being left in the dark. One would turn on the TV and they would hardly hear about COVID anymore. There was no report stating how many died each week there were fewer reports on hospitalizations and cases. Also many of the new studies were not making the news. 

My intention at first was to search what I could find and then present it in a video. As time went on I started adding news stories from various different websites. In the Fall of 2022 I came to the idea to start a Forum website to archive information I would find on COVID and other viruses. 

The goal of all of this including my X account is to raise awareness of what is going on and to help keep people informed. My mission with my website is for it to be a resource for anyone doing research or to be a place for someone who just wants a safe place to make postings. In the end if I have helped inform at least 1 person a day I feel I am doing my job to raise awareness of what is really going on around the world right now. 

Thanks, Data Report, for keeping us in the loop with COVID-19 and other viruses. And for folks who are looking for a quick way to get up to date daily, go subscribe to his channel on YouTube or find him on Twitter/X. You can also browse the great repository of data, news, research studies, and more at his website. And mask up and stay safe, friends!