COVID-19 data reported to the federal government will no longer be publicly available, according to a report in The New York Times.
Seven things to know about the new system:
1. As of July 15 HHS decided hospitals should report COVID-19 data directly to the state or state contractor and those agencies would then send the information to HHS instead of hospitals reporting it to the CDC.
2. TeleTracking manages the centralized system for HHS’ hospital data reporting. The HHS awarded TeleTracking a $10 million contract in April.
3. The change was made to streamline data gathering, according to the report, but the HHS database is not public like the CDC’s dashboard is.
4. Information about hospital capacity as well as inpatient bed and ICU bed occupancy rates on the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network dashboard have been removed from the website. However, the CDC’s website tracking total cases and deaths from COVID-19 is still functioning.
5. HHS spokesperson Michael Caputo said the CDC’s system has been inadequate and has a week lag time in reporting hospital data, when it should be real time. “The new, faster and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus, and the CDC, an operating division of HHS, will certainly participate in this streamlined all-of-government response. They simply no longer control it,” he said, according to the New York Times report.
6. Mr. Caputo also said that the CDC would still make the data public. The CDC gathered data from more than 25,000 healthcare providers and some public health experts are worried that the change will make data less transparent and more politicized, according to the New York Times report.
7. The distribution of remdesivir, a COVID-19 treatment, is tied to daily data reporting to the HHS portal.
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Why Texas’ publicly reported COVID-19 death rates are likely too low
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