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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

Sep 18, 2021 - Health

Most Kentucky school boards vote in favor of mask mandates

Photo: Paul Bersebach, MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

A majority of school boards in Kentucky voted in favor of mask mandates, according to the Kentucky School Board Association.

Why it matters: A week ago, Kentucky's Republican-dominated legislature voted to revoke a statewide mask mandate in public schools that was meant to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The decision on masks would instead be left up to individual districts.

Sep 18, 2021 - Health

Mississippi reports rise in COVID-19 deaths among pregnant women

Dr. Thomas Dobbs speaks during a House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., on March 10, 2020. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

At least eight pregnant women in Mississippi, who weren't fully vaccinated, have died of COVID-19 since late July, CNN reports.

Why it matters: The eight pregnant women who have died from the virus more than doubles the state's pandemic total in just two months.

Sep 17, 2021 - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.