Oct. 8, 2022 — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it will start updating COVID-19 case and death counts on a weekly instead of a daily basis 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 for line level and aggregate case and death data,” the CDC said Thursday.
The CDC is still providing daily data on COVID hospitalizations, using information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It’s unknown if that will change when the National Healthcare Safety Network takes responsibility for the collection of COVID hospital data mid-December, the CDC said.
The CDC has been publishing daily COVID data for more than two years. The CDC’s COVID community level ratings are already updated once a week, on Thursdays. State and local governments use community level ratings in deciding when and where citizens should be advised to wear masks.
The change is another sign of a de-escalation in COVID response as the major pandemic statistics drop. The New York Times reported that on Oct. 7 the United States was averaging 40,186 new COVID cases a day (a 26% drop over two weeks), 26,994 COVID-related hospitalizations (an 11% drop), and 380 COVID-related deaths (an 11% drop). Health experts say the case counts are actually higher because many home testing results are not reported to health agencies.
Earlier this week, the CDC announced it would no longer maintain a list of travel advisories for foreign countries because “fewer countries are testing or reporting COVID-19 cases,” The New York Times reported. Instead, the CDC will publish health notices when only for “a concerning Covid-19 variant” in a particular nation.
Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical advisor, said Tuesday that COVID cases may rise this winter, especially if a new COVID variant emerges.
“Although we can feel good that we’re going in the right direction, we can’t let our guard down,” Fauci said in a discussion hosted by the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. “We are entering into the winter months, where no matter what the respiratory disease is, there’s always a risk of an uptick.”