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COVID-19 Open Data – Our Data is Your Data

By: Heather Strosnider, Co-Lead, Integrated Surveillance, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Joint Coordination Cell; Kelly Bennett, Co-Lead, Integrated Surveillance, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR)/Joint Coordination Cell; Amy Gleason, Data Strategy and Execution Workgroup Lead, US Digital Service/Joint Coordination Cell; Kristen Honey, Chief Data Scientist and Senior Advisor to Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH), HHS; and Kevin Duvall, Deputy Chief Data Officer (CDO), Office of the CDO, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)

COVID-19 Community Profile Report

On December 18, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), with significant contribution from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), began publishing the COVID-19 Community Profile Report publicly on our websites. This will give the American people the same community level information that is available to federal personnel. We hope the publication of this data will help Americans make personal choices to slow the spread.

Community-Driven Data for a Data-Driven Pandemic Response

The Community Profile Report (CPR) is generated by the Data Strategy and Execution Workgroup in the Joint Coordination Cell, under the White House COVID-19 Task Force. The data in this report provides aggregate information on the overall status of areas across the country. It is managed by an interagency team with representatives from multiple agencies and offices within HHS (including CDC, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), and the Indian Health Service (IHS)). The CPR provides easily interpretable information on key indicators for all regions, states, core-based statistical areas (CBSAs), and counties across the United States.

It is a daily snapshot that:

  • Focuses on recent COVID-19 outcomes in the last seven days and changes relative to the week prior.
  • Provides additional contextual information at the county, CBSA, state and regional level.
  • Supports rapid visual interpretation of results with color thresholds.

COVID-19 Open Data

HHS believes in the power of open data and transparency. By publicly posting the reports that our own response teams use and by having others outside of the federal response use the information, the data will only get better.

Data in this report may differ from data on state and local websites. This may be due to differences in how data were reported, including differences in definitions, reporting dates, and methods for calculating summary metrics. In addition, historical data may be updated over time due to delayed reporting or corrections.

Standardization Across the Country

While each state reports data in slightly different ways, the CPR presents data using metrics that are standardized for use across all geographic levels in the United States. This standardization facilitates an understanding of various dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic trends across the United States because the metrics can be compared across jurisdictions. For example, the report presents weekly cases per 100,000 population, enabling a comparison of case rates against the population of each area. Additionally, the data sources and methods provide clarity into how the data were analyzed. To address privacy concerns, the data is presented in aggregates (such as a 7-day average or total), without demographics. For additional data for a locality, visit the relevant health department website.

Community-Driven Data for a Data-Driven Pandemic Response

We all have an interest in ensuring that COVID-19 open datasets are high quality and publicly accessible in a consistent and timely manner. All sectors — government, industry, academia, non-profit organizations, and the public — have a critical role in our COVID-19 response. In that spirit, we also encourage you to visit and contribute to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about this dataset. These living FAQs are crowdsourced from the public, so your contributions will improve these FAQs over time.

We welcome your continued feedback and ongoing collaboration and, together, we will continue to steadily improve COVID-19 data quality and reporting consistency over time.

Disclaimer: Please visit CDC’s website on COVID-19 for the most up-to-date information and COVID-19 guidance.