The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it will publish COVID-19 cases and deaths on a weekly basis, marking a major shift in its reporting since the start of the pandemic.
“To allow for additional reporting flexibility, reduce the reporting burden on states and jurisdictions, and maximize surveillance resources, CDC is moving to a weekly reporting cadence,” the federal agency said in a statement last week.
Local and state health departments, under the new guidance, will have to report new COVID-19 deaths and cases to the CDC every week on Wednesdays. The new change will go into effect starting Oct. 20, according to the agency.
“Data processing cutoffs for jurisdictions will be every Wednesday at 10 A.M. ET for line level case and death data, and Wednesday at 5 P.M. ET for aggregate case and death data,” the CDC said.
Daily data on COVID-19 hospitalizations will still be provided, according to the CDC, and it will use information from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said on Oct. 7 that a number of states have shifted away from daily reporting to a weekly reporting system. Jha said that daily reporting has become unreliable.
“What I think CDC is doing is moving to a weekly cadence that reflects where states are across the country,” Jha said during a briefing. “That said, the COVID team at the White House, the work of the CDC on looking at data and analysis—that continues at seven days a week where we have daily data available.”
A similar move was made several months ago when the CDC shifted from daily to weekly reporting of COVID-19 vaccinations. New data is published only on Thursdays now.
And earlier this month, the CDC announced it will no longer be reporting country-by-country COVID-19 travel advisories until there is a significant development, such as the emergence of a new variant, officials said. And in June, the federal government ended its requirement for international travelers coming to the United States to provide a COVID-19 test.
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