Two COVID-Related Data I Would Like to See

Two things that have puzzled me throughout the entire pandemic are why we never collected the following data:

  1. Asymptomatic hospital patient percent positive rates. That is, which hospital patients, not admitted with COVID-19 symptoms, test positive. This isn’t perfect: admissions will have biases, such as towards women aged 20-35 (think about it), but it would be a good, if rough proxy, for community prevalence (the University of California hospitals do release these data).
  2. Census tract level data. In D.C., the city releases neighborhood level data, but many of these ‘neighborhoods’ cover multiple wards and census districts. “Logan Circle/Shaw” includes parts of Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, U Street Corridor, Shaw, and Mount Vernon across seven census tracts and two wards. The neighborhoods include , high density-high income tracts, moderate (for cities) density tracts, and low income-high density tracts, along with very different racial and ethnic compositions. If we see a surge was it wealthy millenials–they do exist!–getting it at their avocado toast brunches, or was it low income populations. There’s no reason to hold these data back for privacy considerations–the Barnaby Woods neighborhood is a single census tract (and has very few people compared to Logan/Shaw), so I don’t see how concerns about privacy don’t apply there, but would apply to Logan Circle/Shaw.

A boy can dream, can’t he?

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2 Responses to Two COVID-Related Data I Would Like to See

  1. Joe Shelby says:

    #1 was something that should have been followed up on as NYC was getting slammed in April last year. There were multiple stories/anecdotes coming from the hospitals where they were seeing an increase in home accidents or personal accidents (e.g., skateboard falls), and as they ran the Covid test just for safety, they were finding asymptomatic positives all over.

    There was speculation – were the home accidents merely because of the combination of stress and actually being at home (instead of the office), thus being a break from the day-to-day patterns were are practiced in? Or was it that the loss of concentration or nervous control was the result of a hidden symptom of Covid they weren’t initially aware of, even for those that never showed cold/flu/lung effects? That they’ve since found neurological damage in covid patients hints the latter, as least at a correlation level.

    So yeah, NYC may have gathered some numbers on it last year, but I don’t know if they are formally available to the public.

  2. Bern says:

    I’ve been hoping for the same: precinct, or ANC-level reporting. All it takes is time and money.

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