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Johns Hopkins Now Compiling U.S. COVID Testing Data

Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center (CRC) now houses United States COVID-19 testing data — taking the reins from the COVID Tracking Project, which has compiled the data from publicly reported sources for the past year.

The COVID Tracking Project is a volunteer effort launched out of The Atlantic in the early days of the pandemic, dedicated to collecting and publishing vital public health data for the U.S. — because at the time federal agencies weren't up to the job, according to the project's founders. "We began the work out of necessity and planned to do it for a couple of weeks at most, always in the expectation that the federal public health establishment would make our work obsolete," they explained in a recent blog post. "Every few months through the course of the project, we asked ourselves whether it was possible to wind down. Instead, we saw the federal government continue to publish patchy and often ill-defined data while our world-famous public health agencies remained sidelined and underfunded, their leadership seemingly inert."

Now, the Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have improved their data efforts to the point that the COVID Tracking Project is coming to an end. "Compiling, cleaning, standardizing, and making sense of COVID-19 data from 56 individual states and territories … is properly the work of federal public health agencies," the project founders stated. "Although substantial gaps and complexities remain, we have seen persuasive evidence that the CDC and HHS are now both able and willing to take on the country's massive deficits in public health data infrastructure, and to offer the best available data and science communication in the interim."

Johns Hopkins' CRC will now draw on data from local, state and federal sources rather than from the COVID Tracking Project, adding state testing data collection to its existing efforts. The Center's mission remains to "aggregate and analyze the best data available on COVID-19 — including cases, deaths, tests, contact tracing, and vaccinations — to help the public, policymakers and healthcare professionals worldwide respond to the pandemic."

For more information, visit the Coronavirus Resource Center site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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