Effective May 18, the state of Vermont will no longer update its online COVID-19 case data daily.
Instead, Vermont will release a weekly COVID-19 trend report, which state officials said will help focus on data most useful for monitoring and determining risk in Vermont.
Vermont health officials are asking Vermonters to assess their own risk when determining whether they need to take precautions against COVID-19, such as staying seated. such as wearing a mask or physically distancing from others.
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Some Vermonters aren’t convinced that getting rid of daily updates is the best move and worry they’re not properly assessing their own risk.
“If public health agencies are to make public health a private matter, they must empower individuals with better data, clearer communication, and much better access to the tools they need to protect themselves,” wrote Anne Sosin, a researcher on COVID-19. 19 and Rural Health Justice at Dartmouth College, in a May 10 tweet.
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Why switch to weekly COVID-19 reports?
Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. But Mark Levine says it’s no longer useful to rely on daily COVID-19 case counts when assessing risk because the widespread use of at-home testing has made the data less meaningful. The new report will include information on the nationwide level of risk, which Levine cited as one of the most important pieces of information in determining personal risk levels.
“At this point in the pandemic, you really shouldn’t base your decision on daily fluctuations in the number of cases,” Levine said during a May 17 news conference.
He added, “This report contains the most valuable data we are using to monitor Vermont for COVID-19 now and in the future. It shows trends in who presents to the ER with COVID-like illness, an important indicator of viral activity as case numbers are no longer reliable.”
For Vermont’s new weekly COVID-19 report, updated every Wednesday, visit healthvermont.gov/covid-19/current-activity.
For Vermonters who need as much information as possible to assess their personal risk, the following resources may be helpful:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention district view: Classifies counties in the US by seven-day metrics with low, moderate, or high transmission of COVID-19. The data is a few days behind, but is updated daily. Visit covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view.
- Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center: Data is updated daily but may be a few days behind. The map allows visitors to zoom in on specific counties. Visit coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map.
- Burlington Free Press Dates: Data from Johns Hopkins University powers the Free Press tracker: data.burlingtonfreepress.com/coronavirus-curve.
- Vermont Open Geodata Portal: Vermont state records are updated weekly on Wednesdays. Visit geodata.vermont.gov/pages/covid-19.