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Nebraska, Coronavirus Pandemic

States scale back virus reporting just as cases surge

Florida and three other states have shifted to weekly instead of daily reporting of COVID-19 statistics as cases across the U.S. skyrocket. Coronavirus dashboards are a staple for many Americans.

7/24/2021 6:24:00 PM

Florida and three other states have shifted to weekly instead of daily reporting of COVID-19 statistics as cases across the U.S. skyrocket. Coronavirus dashboards are a staple for many Americans.

OMAHA , Neb. (AP) — Several states scaled back their reporting of COVID-19 statistics this month just as cases across the country started to skyrocket, depriving the public of real-time information on outbreaks, cases, hospitalizations and deaths in their communities.

In Nebraska, the state actually stopped reporting on the virus altogether for two weeks after Gov. Pete Ricketts declared an end to the official virus emergency, forcing news reporters to file public records requests or turn to national websites that track state data to learn about COVID statistics. The state backtracked two weeks later and came up with a weekly site that provides some basic numbers.

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ADVERTISEMENTOther governments have gone the other direction and released more information, with Washington, D.C., this week adding a dashboard on breakthrough cases to show the number of residents who contracted the virus after getting vaccines. Many states have recently gone to reporting virus numbers only on weekdays.

When Florida changed the frequency of its virus reporting earlier this month, officials said it made sense given the decreasing number of cases and the increasing number of people being vaccinated.Cases started soaring soon after, and Florida earlier this week made up up one-fifth of the country’s new coronavirus infections. As a result, Florida’s weekly releases — typically done on Friday afternoons — have consequences for the country’s understanding of the current summer surge, with no statewide COVID stats coming out of the virus hotspot for six days a week.

In Florida’s last two weekly reports, the number of new cases shot up from 23,000 to 45,000 and then 73,000 on Friday, an average of more than 10,000 day. Hospitals are starting to run out of space in parts of the state.With cases rising, Democrats and other critics have urged state officials and Gov. Ron DeSantis to resume daily outbreak updates.

“There was absolutely no reason to eliminate the daily updates beyond an effort to pretend like there are no updates,” said state Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat from the Orlando area.The trend of reducing data reporting has alarmed infectious disease specialists who believe that more information is better during a pandemic. People have come to rely on state virus dashboards to help make decisions about whether to attend large gatherings or wear masks in public, and understanding the level of risk in the community affects how people respond to virus restrictions and calls to get vaccinated.

ADVERTISEMENT“We know that showing the data to others actually is important because the actions that businesses take, the actions that schools take, the actions that civic leaders take, the actions that community leaders take, the actions that each of us individually take are all influenced by our perception of what the risk is out there,” said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, who leads the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

But reporting the numbers on a weekly basis still allows people to see the overall trends while smoothing out some of he day-to-day variations that come from the way cases are reported and not the actual number of new cases. And experts have long advised that it makes sense to pay more attention to the seven-day rolling average of new cases because the numbers can vary widely from one day to the next.

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And Florida health officials say that they have not curtailed the sharing of data with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Maintaining daily updates on the virus does require significant resources for states. For instance, Kansas went to reporting virus numbers three times a week in May because the state health department said providing daily statistics consumed too much time for its already overwhelmed staff.

In Nebraska, officials decided that continuing to update the virus dashboard daily wasn’t the best use of state resources now partly because there had been a steady decline in the number of views of the website indicating less interest in the numbers, spokeswoman Olga Dack said. The state could return to providing daily updates if the governor’s office decided that was needed, she said.

“Now that Nebraska is back to normal, some of the staff that has been dedicated to the dashboard has been able to focus on some of the other important issues,” Dack said.State health departments have a long history of providing the public regular updates on other diseases like flu and West Nile, but those viruses have none of the political baggage associated with COVID-19.

In Florida, a former health department employee was fired last year after publicly suggesting that managers wanted her to manipulate information on coronavirus statistics to paint a rosier picture. The employee, Rebekah Jones, did not allege any tampering with data, but her comments sowed doubts about the reliability of the metrics.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. David Brett-Major said that for many people, national websites such as the one run by the CDC can be a good source of data on the latest state trends and weekly updates could be OK. The World Health Organization often uses weekly updates, but he said they do that for practical data management reasons, not political ones.

He said the message Nebraska sent when it ended its dashboard that the state emergency was over and conditions were returning to normal was troubling.“The main problem is that it reflects a disinterest in pandemic risk management,” said Brett-Major, with the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

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Janet Hamilton, executive director of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, said part of the problem is that public health officials generally don’t have sophisticated data systems so it is more labor intensive to produce the daily dashboards. Even though public health agencies have money for operations at a time when pandemic government spending is flush, they haven’t necessarily had the chance to upgrade.

“It would be great if daily reporting could be made widely available, but public health would have to be funded better to do that and right now that is just not the case,” said Hamilton.And even in states where virus numbers aren’t being reported publicly every day health officials are still looking at the latest data, Hamilton said.

But at a time when the delta variant is, in the words of the CDC director, “spreading with incredible efficiency,” Bibbins-Domingo said it is important that everyone can see the latest trends and understand the risks.“Even if we know that they are available to decisionmakers on a daily basis, there is considerable value to providing the data to the public,” she said.

—-Associated Press Writer Bobby Caina Calvan contributed to this report. Read more: The Associated Press »

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They made that shift well before the surge. It’s because it proves that vaccine work. And money is the only thing that matters to them. Hiding the numbers doesn’t stop people from dying. There he goes again, DEATHSANTIS is releasing FALSE numbers of Covid-19 infections! Florida has by far the most COVID cases in the entire country. DEATHSANTIS would rather have Floridians DIE then him not get re-elected.

They want to cover up the truth! Hid the bad news!! Here's Florida's first weekly report - from June 4 - since apparently your reporters are too incompetent to find it themselves. 'Earlier this month' my ass. Ron Deathsantis at work again killing Floridians in 'God's Waiting Room' What can you expect from not so bright Duuuuhsantis. Besides wasn't he fighting to get J & J's vaccine in back on the market to push in black communities meanwhile putting Pfizer and Madera in white communities. Hmm and whites wonder why blacks in Florida won't vaccinate.

This news is harmful twitter needs to screen Florida began weekly reporting on Friday, June 4 - not 'earlier this month.' You would think a 'professional' news organization can at least get a basic fact correct. Instead of trying to promote 'baseless conspiracy theories' - try doing something unique and report the truth.

3 States Responsible For 40% Of New COVID-19 CasesThe governor of Alabama, which is also seeing a sharp rise in cases, said “it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks.' blame them for what exactly? vaxxed people still get infected and still transmit the virus. Just like unvaxxed do. only difference is severity of symptoms. So this comment makes no sense. Stop shaking and blaming. Or maybe blaming the Gov. of Alabama? Dah!

He is running for president. And is a Trump man. Obscure facts…in the tradition of the GOP! Hey AP glad to see you're paying attention. Only problem is Florida starting reporting their numbers weekly since around the end of May BEFORE the latest surge. Go ahead and fact check that. De Santis doesn’t trust Floridians with facts and statistics. He’d prefer to tell them what to think.

As someone that is vaccinated, I only want to hear data about the deaths of vaccinated patients. Positive cases and non-vaccinated death are of zero interest to me moving forward. May be for cooking the numbers spelling error. Correct: “DeathSantis” Lying about the numbers worked before… GovRonDeSantis doing what he does best, silencing actual facts and silence. Wonder how many raids he authorized against innocent people.

Florida is already under-reporting and misclassifying deaths. Now, they want to drop even further off by reporting weekly. How many tourists have to die before a Federal Government agency or two shows up and stop this? Interstate commerce clause re:tourism applies, yes?

How 3 counties reached the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in their states.ABC News spoke to officials in three counties leading their states in COVID-19 vaccinations about their campaigns, what they've done and where they go from here. They didnt have a bunch of pussies living there Fraud, most likely. Nobody wants the vaccine. Escape mutations are brewing thanks to the vaccines. The virus is finding a way. Vaccines against Covid were a mistake from day one.

Can’t hide Covid I wonder why. Maybe to prevent people having bad thoughts, just like Trump during the pandemic. Not suspicious at all.🤨 But I had some self-righteous Florida reporter tell me that everything DeSantis has done is completely above board and transparent 🙃 DeathSantis doesn't care 29,000 Floridians DIED from Covid. DeathSantis doesn't care 145 Floridians DIED in a collapsed Condo. DEATHSANTIS DOES NOT CARE DEATHSANTIS DOES NOT CARE DEATHSANTIS DOES NOT CARE

Fake news The old what you don't know can hurt you. If they lie about life and death they will lie about anything. Drug test goofy. Covid Alpha and her mutants do not care how frequently they report cases and death because they have their own agenda—survive at any cost. Something I wish a few million human beings would understand and do. This damn virus is smarter than most Americans. We are fu$ked.

DeSantis will NEVER allow the true numbers to be released.

How 3 counties reached the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in their statesIn Wyoming's Teton County, nearly 60% of residents are fully vaccinated -- almost double the statewide vaccination rate. It's an effort that has been noticed in the state, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country and where several counties have fewer than 30% of their population inoculated, state data shows. 'We have spoken to some of our other counties in Wyoming because they wanted to know what we were doing,' Rachael Wheeler, the public health response coordinator at the Teton County Health Department, told ABC News. But Mississippi wants to overturn Roe v Wade Hope so, or else that vaccine is crap. You notice how lately the media only uses percentages when sharing information instead of solid numbers? You know why? Because the percentages are a high number that evokes fear. If you break that down into real numbers it isn't as fearful.

all i hear is fudging the numbers in delay of issuing stats. Welcome to North Korea. Controlling the flow of facts is vitally necessary for fascism to succeed when it's in its culling phase. So nothing to see here folks, please disperse. WTF 🤦🏻‍♀️ Brilliant move...and NOW report on defined cases, explaining the exact danger of the 'cases' ...don't lump asymptomatic and a sore throat with 'on a ventilator and 325 pounds.'

WTF? 'dashboards have become a staple for Americans'? No, just for lazy reporters regurgitated daily stats w/o context! GovRonDeSantis believes he answers to no one. Don't question him. Don't debate him. He has all the answers and he knows what you want and need. If you just follow him, you will be happy and healthy...or sick and dead. Either one is fine with Ron.

The fuck your feelings - it’s just the flu folks are really feeling some kinda way… proflevin Stalin told the world that Russia ended starvation in Russia. DeSantis is using a trick out of Trump's playbook, 'what virus?' I've never met this virus...' He should be held responsible for the staggering debt Florida Hospitals are carrying & pay for medical expenses for the people who listened to him...

When vaccinated people should still get tested for COVID-19 amid breakthrough casesIt's rare for a person who's vaccinated against COVID-19 to contract the virus, and the vaccines are known to reduce the risk of someone spreading it or getting seriously ill. Despite that, there are instances when a vaccinated person should get tested Interesting stuff, next you should do an article about when governments should provide financial aid and Healthcare during a pandemic. Well,that is definitely not a true statement. Tut Tut. Stop feeding the lies. If you're in a nursing home.... 19 of an entire unit who were vaccinated 7 months previously all contracted Covid 19 around the same time.

I'm trying to work out the logic behind that one. It's possible stunningly large weekly numbers might impress some people more than smaller daily numbers. The daily numbers impressed me enough to get vaxxed in Feb/March, as soon as I was eligble. +rate in my state went from 10+ yesterday to 12+ today.

That IS foolishness. Floridians get nothing from DeSantis except watered-down, built-up or 'just what he wants us to hear' information. He bragged during the first Covid go-round that FL was going to be just fine, now the same BS as hospitals fill up again. Deny, deny, deny & attack Fauci. Can’t wait for Florida to report its first weekly total of 100,000 cases…that’ll look good.

UPDATE: RonDeathSantis and 3 other governors will be dancing the Covid numbers every Thursday on Fox. How are they a staple formany Americans. Kinda sick and tired of the daily numbers. Things are good when gov withholds data about a pandemic. Sunshine State lol. Tf

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All you had to say was Florida 🤦🏼‍♂️ DeathSantis Support the recall and removal campaign and grab a tshirt! GovRonDeSantis that is awesome. Looking forward to buying up some cheap real estate as your GQP die in hospital parking lots. stantherunner Criminal!! What a shock. Surprised they haven't shut down the entire reporting website yet and replaced with a site telling viewers Covid was never really a problem and everything's back to normal, 'Move along now, there's nothing more to see here'.

Michigan has been reporting in 3 day increments for awhile now. This man is a virus, we must remove all the viruses Oh god!!! The world is ending we’re all gonna die! God please stfu. Red states. As expected. So I have a question. How are they able to say which variant they have from the test we have. They can't so what is the real scoop. We all know that variants of Covid are mutants that are more contagious and less deadly.

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Actually Florida cut back several weeks ago ... do you not pay attention? Why waste the updates on the pesky hospitalizations or death rates as it scares the tourists.. A majority of Trump supporters are now disguising themselves as the unvaccinated to show opposition towards President Biden. Their antipathy and disdain towards Biden is so strong that that they risk dying from the Covid-19 Delta variant rather than take a jab for Joe. Bad risk.

These states are hiding information which will kill people in their states. If you can't pay for cremation and no one claims your ashes, they are 'put' in a communal grave with other unclaimed (not paid for) ashes; This is what dictators do in third world countries. Also a TRUMP 101 policy 😳 Florida has been falsifying reports to fit the governor’s agenda!! Look into it!!

What ever happened to that data scientist who was reporting the actual numbers; the one Desantis sent police after? Soooo, 'Don't Fauci My Florida' is going well, then? Cheers to DeathSantis! If COVID dashboards are a staple for many Americans the public health crisis isn’t COVID its mental health.

'In Florida’s last two weekly reports, the number of new cases shot up from 23,000 to 45,000 and then 73,000 on Friday, an average of more than 10,000 day.' Hospitals are starting to run out of space in parts of the state. Anyone want to guess what the numbers next week will be? Naturally. What the people don't know is good politically for these creeps..

Well the Golden Calf said 'we only have so many cases because we are testing so much' 🤦🏼‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️ idiots. Right from Trumps playbook: If you don’t test, there must be no virus. Of course, the politicians think it’s better to just look bad once a week than every day! How white of them Because they're 27,000 of the 81,000... lol it's not gonna make it look better.

GovRonDeSantis wants to hide the facts that Covid19 infection rate is now 15.1% and hospital are filled with unvaccinated people. DeathSantis It’s because RonDeSantisFL GovRonDeSantis is a snake! The devil among Floridians! He’d rather hide the truth, than show that he failed to protect his constituents. This is some MOB like behavior! He’s dangerous for Florida, and I fear for that State with him as Governor!

'Coronavirus dashboards are a staple for many Americans.' That's become a sickness. The level of fear and panic it has instilled in so many, and they may never recover.

Won't spend a penny in Florida now used to go a few times a year Is Florida filled with dumb people only? Covering it up is the way and the light for the GQP Ron knows exactly what he is doing... He is lying to Floridains so he can keep his power... Too many xases for desantis to count on his figers and toes so he has to wait for more ppl so he can count on their fingers also.

Florida and three other states have shifted to weekly instead of daily reporting of COVID-19 statistics, as cases across the U.S. skyrocket. Gee, ...I wonder why that is? Desantis has been lying about and underreporting COVID deaths in Florida since day one. DeathSantis prefers 'drip' to 'drip drip drip drip drip drip drip.'

Stop the testing. It makes me look bad. In related news...

They should stop testing: with no tests there are no positives. Florida already has been put on a 'Do Not Visit' list that I saw the other day. Because they want to cook the books who needs accurate and up to date numbers? I couldn’t imagine how that could help at all!💀 ‘Why do you need those informational?’ —— White House