COVID-19 Instances: The Pandemic’s Future Hangs in Suspense

Race and ethnicity information wrap-up: For 11 months, we have now proven that the COVID-19 race and ethnicity information printed by U.S. states are patchy and incomplete—and that they however have indicated main inequities within the pandemic’s results. Each of these items are true of the demographic information obtainable from the CDC: Many information are lacking, and what information are reported present ongoing disparities. Our introduction to the federal information shall be posted later this week, and we’ll be publishing deeper analyses within the coming weeks.

As we wind down our compilation efforts, america is at a vital second within the pandemic: Decisive motion now could be our greatest probability at stopping a fourth surge in instances and outpacing the variants, which can be extra transmissible than the unique virus in response to preliminary (preprint) information. Over the weekend, the FDA issued a 3rd Emergency Use Authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine, this time for Janssen/Johnson & Johnson’s adenovirus vector vaccine, which confirmed spectacular security and efficacy leads to its world medical trials. The Biden administration introduced Tuesday that the U.S. ought to have sufficient COVID-19 vaccine doses for each grownup by the top of Could—a dramatic acceleration from earlier timelines.

In the meantime, issues over an uptick in variant instances are rising in Florida after researchers famous that 25 % of analyzed samples from Miami-Dade County’s Jackson Well being public hospital had been instances of B.1.1.7. Though partnerships between the CDC and different labs have elevated the variety of specimens sequenced from about 750 per week in January to 7,000–10,000 per week in late February, this nonetheless permits for the sequencing of lower than 3 % of all instances in america.

Genomic sequencing quantity chart from the CDC

New York Metropolis has promised to quadruple the variety of samples it sequences throughout the month of March, from 2,000 to eight,000 per week, which is greater than the whole nation’s labs sequenced within the week ending February 27.

At the moment’s weekly replace is our thirty ninth and final. We started writing them again in June 2020 as a manner of providing a deeper interpretation of information factors that was much less jittery than these within the every day tweets. As we puzzled by means of the info and watched for indications of adjusting developments, we’ve tried to assist folks perceive what has occurred to us because the pandemic has ebbed and surged.

Though our information compilation will come to an finish on Sunday, March 7, our work on the COVID Monitoring Challenge will proceed in different kinds for one more few months, as our groups full their long-term analyses and wrap up documentation and archiving efforts. We’ll proceed to publish our work on the CTP web site and hyperlink to it on Twitter till we lastly shut up store in late spring.

All year long that we’ve compiled this information, we’ve tried to elucidate not solely what we predict the info imply, however how we got here to our conclusions—and the way we examined and challenged our personal analyses. We hope that one results of our doing this work in public is that our readers really feel higher ready to do the identical for themselves and their communities.

The federal authorities is now publishing extra and higher COVID-19 information than ever earlier than. Some gaps stay, however far fewer than at any earlier second within the pandemic. To these of you who’ve relied on our work this yr, thanks on your belief. We’ve tried very arduous to deserve it, and we consider that we’re leaving you in good fingers.

Mandy Brown, Artis Curiskis, Alice Goldfarb, Erin Kissane, Alexis C. Madrigal, Kara Oehler, Jessica Malaty Rivera, and Peter Walker contributed to this report.

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