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The Wall Street Journal interviewed Dr. Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about whether changes in state-level reporting could leave public-health leaders with blind spots as new variants of the coronavirus circulate and many parts of the world battle rising cases
A growing number of states are slowing the pace of their reports on key pandemic data, including cases, deaths and hospitalizations, concerning some epidemiologists and researchers, who say such moves may be too soon given how crucial data is for spotting outbreaks.
They worry lagging data will leave public-health leaders with blind spots as new variants of the coronavirus circulate and many parts of the world battle rising cases.
Early in the pandemic, states created online data dashboards and posted regular public updates or held public briefings with elected officials to disclose daily updates on new Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Over time, as the severity of the pandemic in the U.S. has lessened, vaccine rates improved and nearly all key metrics dropped, states began updating their data less frequently.