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Covid-19: US states are not reporting vital data, says former CDC chief

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m2993 (Published 27 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2993

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  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Most US states are missing key indicators in the data they publish about the course of the covid-19 pandemic, says a report presented by Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report by Resolve to Save Lives, a New York based non-profit group led by Frieden, examined the covid-19 “dashboards” of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.1

Indicators critical to understanding the pandemic’s course were often missing, it found. Not a single state currently reports the average turnaround time of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, as press reports abound of tests in many regions taking a week or more to come back, a delay that renders testing nearly useless in controlling the disease’s spread. The test positivity rate …

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