For the future and possible ensuing waves of COVID-19: A perspective to consider when disseminating data

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Michael Kwok
Linh Tran


COVID-19, coronavirus, social distance, infections


During the COVID-19 pandemic, most citizens in North America receive daily updates, which highlight the number of new cases per day in a specified region. However, as this data metric is often presented alone on media and news platforms, the spread of the novel coronavirus may often be misinterpreted. Among these daily updates which are critical to informing the public, the authors emphasize the importance of controlling for variation attributed to changes in surveillance. The number of test results that have been analyzed each day along with the total number of tests being conducted in a region have a significant impact on capturing virus spread and should always be included in widespread data. Presenting these variables may help to differentiate increases or decreases of new cases attributed to the expansion of surveillance and testing, or rather other environmental and behavioral factors. Overall, to best inform politicians, healthcare workers, and all citizens of the progress against COVID-19, there is a need to constantly improve analyses and reporting of data.
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