Idaho COVID-19 dashboard can't update without CDC data

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare can no longer update its COVID-19 dashboard after the CDC shut down its COVID-19 reporting, according to a report in the Idaho Statesman.

The Trump administration issued a directive this week that diverted COVID-19 data from the CDC to HHS. The change went into effect on July 15, and the CDC's website that included hospital capacity information as well as inpatient bed and ICU bed occupancy rates, stopped reporting information. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare relied on the CDC's data for its own dashboard updates.

Niki Forbing-Orr, a spokesperson from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, said the department is reviewing details about the new reporting process and how to move forward with the state's COVID-19 dashboard. "It will certainly have a short-term impact on our awareness of the number of people in hospitals, in the ICU and on ventilators," she told the Statesman.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little had used the information supplied by the CDC's and state health department's dashboards about ICU bed occupancy to make informed decisions about reopening the state. The lack of real-time information could affect the state's response to the pandemic, Idaho state epidemiologist Christine Hahn indicated on Boise State Public Radio, an NPR affiliate.

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