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In this photo illustration, the Florida's COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard is seen displayed on a computer screen. Photo: SOPA Images/Getty Images

Florida, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota have recently curtailed their COVID-19 daily reporting, shifting to weekly or monthly updates despite witnessing upticks in virus-related cases, hospitalizations and deaths, AP reports.

Why it matters: The trend of reducing reporting worries some health care experts, many of whom believe more data is better amid the pandemic. Some people treat state virus dashboards as essentials help make decisions social gatherings mask wearing, and broad community risk.

Weekly releases — like the strategy employed in Florida — "have consequences for the country’s understanding of the current summer surge, with no statewide COVID stats coming out of the virus hotspot for six days a week," AP writes.

Driving the news: Nebraska recently halted virus-reporting for two weeks after Gov. Pete Ricketts ended the state's virus emergency. That decision was reversed two weeks later and a weekly site with basic numbers went live.

  • In Florida, virus reporting frequency slowed earlier this month, with officials saying it reflected the dwindling case counts and the increasing number of people being vaccinated.
  • Kansas started reporting its data three times a week back May when the state's health department said the task overwhelmed its staff.
  • Washington, D.C., earlier this week published a dashboard on breakthrough cases to illustrate those residents who contracted the virus after being fully vaccinated.

What they're saying: "There was absolutely no reason to eliminate the daily updates beyond an effort to pretend like there are no updates," said state Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat from the Orlando area.

The other side: Experts have long-advised that seven-day rolling averages are more valuable for laypeople because the numbers can vary widely each day.

Go deeper

Oct 30, 2021 - Health

Texas AG sues Biden administration over vaccine mandate for contractors

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas on July 11. Photo: Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration over its vaccine mandate for federal contractors, which requires vaccination against the coronavirus no later than Dec. 8.

What they're saying: The executive order is "a dramatic infringement upon individual liberties, principles of federalism and separation of powers, and the rule of law," according to the lawsuit, which was filed Friday evening in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Oct 30, 2021 - Health

Over 26K NYC workers remain unvaccinated after Friday deadline

Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Over 26,000 New York City municipal workers are unvaccinated after a Friday deadline to have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, AP reports.

Driving the news: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expanded a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Oct. 20 that covers all of the city's public employees, including police officers and firefighters. Nearly 46,000 unvaccinated employees needed to receive one dose by Friday.

Oct 29, 2021 - Health

Supreme Court declines to block enforcement of Maine's vaccine mandate for health workers

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to block enforcement of Maine's COVID vaccine mandate for health care workers while they wait for the court of appeals to rule on the merits of the case.

Why it matters: The 6-3 decision in the emergency appeal was not made on the merits of the case. But in previous rulings, the justices have upheld COVID vaccine requirements — though this is the first case that involves a mandate without religious exemptions.