What COVID-19 Data Resources Are Best for Pandemic Updates

Current pandemic data resources can teach data science professionals how to best understand data associated with a societal issue

Pierre DeBois

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Sites like the CDC.gov are

With the pandemic having killed 670,000 Americans to date, gathering reliable data has become imperative to developing effective policies and responses. With that in mind, I thought I would start a round-up of sources addressing the current state of data available.

1. John Hopkins University

John Hopkins University has lead the charge in tracking the impact from COVID-19 cases, offering data that logs the daily infection rate across the United States and other case metrics.

John Hopkins runs a GitHub repository — you can click here to connect to it. The repository is maintained by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (JHU CSSE)

The data set includes a complete list of all sources ever used. Some sources listed here (e.g. ECDC, US CDC, BNO News) are not currently relied upon as a source of data.

To use this data in a publication, the organization requests that its Lancet article is cited. The article can be found here.

An interactive web-based dashboard to track COVID-19 in real time There is also a dashboard that can be embedded.

You can also donate to the CSSE dashboard team to support their efforts to develop and maintain the datasets. The donations are accepted here.

2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov) operates a data portal and GitHub profile separate from its main site.

The portal, data.cdc.gov, shares data in a number of formats. For COVID-19 data you can start with a listing of US vaccinations by county.

Note how the CDC data portal displays data in a format similar to that of DataWorld.org. You can view a sample table that displays a description for what each table column means. The data can be downloaded into a CSV file as well as accessed via API. Other formats include pdf, RSS, and…

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Pierre DeBois

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