The CDC is winding down COVID-related tools on the CDC website and easing reporting requirements for state and local health departments who can report the information weekly on Wednesdays. File Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo
Anyone who still wants to keep track of U.S. COVID-19 cases and deaths will soon have to wait for the weekly reports.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that it will stop publishing COVID-19 case and death data on a daily basis and instead issue weekly updates, starting Oct. 20.
"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 agency explained in a post.
The move is in line with efforts to wind down other COVID-related tools on the CDC website. It eases reporting requirements for state and local health departments who can report the information weekly on Wednesdays, the agency said.
Many states and other countries have already stopped issuing daily reports. Community Level ratings, which provide guidance to counties, are already updated just weekly, as are vaccination numbers.
CDC updates for COVID-19 will now be released on Thursdays.
The agency is continuing its daily hospitalization reports, which the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services collects. The CDC will take charge of that data in December, and it's not clear if it will still be published daily, CBS News reported.
It's not really clear how accurate the case number reports were anyway, because at-home testing is now common and many cases likely go unreported.
Meanwhile, it's not clear what will happen with COVID or the flu this winter, though there is potential for outbreaks of either.
There is a considerable drop around the country in COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the outgoing chief medical adviser to the president, said earlier this week.
"I was on the phone with colleagues in health departments throughout the country just two nights ago, and everyone is having the same experience," Fauci said Tuesday during a webinair hosted by the University of Southern California.
That doesn't mean there won't be illness this winter. New variants are emerging across the country and winter often up the risk of respiratory viral infections. Fauci said.
"It would be a bit cavalier to all of a sudden say we're completely through with it," he added. "Although we can feel good that we're going in the right direction, we can't let our guard down."
The World Health Organization has more information on COVID-19.
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