When the pandemic started, people used to sit and watch the news to know how many people succumbed to the new disease spreading all over the world. Cases in the news were reported daily with count on hospitalizations and death. The data on the number of people affected by Coronavirus was officially updated on a daily basis on various government websites both internationally and nationally. Here in the US, each state released its report on its official website every day.
Daily Reporting To Turn To Weekly Reporting In Florida, Alabama
But now, there is a decline in reporting the cases due to the declining number of cases affecting people. Following this, some states in the United States have decided to start reporting cases weekly, instead of daily, following the decline.
This is taken as the states’ move to the next phase of the pandemic as the people moving forward in life.
CNBC was the first to report that Florida and Alabama were going to change their reporting pattern.
The change in the disclosure of virus statistics was attributed to the decline in deaths and new cases along with the fact that half the US population was vaccinated.
The Florida Department of Health has released an official statement via email to CNBC, which essentially pointed out the weekly schedule of reporting.
Florida has been doing everything to come out of the pandemic phase as fast as it could. Last month Florida’s Division of Emergency Management said that they were out of the emergency operations mode and phasing into a public health effort in another press release.
Florida recently updated its vaccination updates along with its cases reporting and published that its data will remain available on their Covid-19 response website.
According to the last report on the website, Florida has reported around 11,000 new cases and 34 deaths in a week, with a positivity rate of 3.6%. This data shows that it becomes much easier to report weekly rather than daily to show significant data.
It was not only Florida but Alabama that followed suit.
In a press release by the Alabama area health officer, the state has decided to reduce its reporting schedule as the cases, hospitalizations and death are in decline.
Dr. Karen Landers said that the Alabama Department of Public Health will be updating its data in their Covid-19 website dashboard thrice a week instead of daily updates. The number of cases and deaths will be updated every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, whereas the vaccination data will be updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
According to the latest data of the Alabama State taken from their website, only around 1000 new cases have cropped up, with 1.6 million people fully vaccinated.
When compared to Florida’s weekly cases, Alabama’s 14 days report was much less, which was a good outcome.
Many other states may follow suit in order to push their states towards normalcy.
Louisiana had shifted to five days a week reporting but Dr. Joseph Kanter, a medical officer, said that there were no reports of decreasing their reporting trend anytime soon.
Many Public health experts have warned of leniency in data reporting of cases. It may give a false sense of calm in data reporting which could potentially lead to false reports. If there are lags in reporting it could become too late to see red flags that may arise in the future.
As long as the pandemic is present in the world it becomes imminent to remain vigilant as the course of the pandemic could change anytime as seen in nations like India, which were unprepared for the sudden surge in cases and the second wave.
Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University notes that it might be a tad bit premature to slow down our vigilance but believes that weekly reporting might be sufficient to get red flags before the pandemic could worsen.
With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.