CDC says COVID-19 tracking will be similar to seasonal flu surveillance

Nearly two weeks away from the end of the public health emergency, the CDC has detailed what and how it will continue tracking COVID-19 data as some reporting aspects begin to sunset, according to an April 24 report from CNN.

While it is not the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, data reporting requirements are beginning to shift for states, and privately funded projects have begun to shut down or minimize their coronavirus reporting in recent months.

Rochelle Walensky, MD, director of the CDC, previously told the U.S. House of Representatives that it was critical to expand the agency's ability to obtain information and data on public health nationally to properly respond to health threats, according to CNN.

Reporting, tracking and analyzing coronavirus data will not cease entirely, however. Dr. Walensky reportedly said the plan is for COVID-19 tracking to become similar to seasonal flu surveillance, which largely monitors trends from samples of data, CNN reported.

"The end of the PHE does not mean the end of CDC’s emergency response to COVID-19. … CDC COVID-19 data activities are not necessarily affected by the PHE," a spokesperson from the CDC told Becker's in a March interview. The agency, "along with jurisdictional partners, is assessing ongoing surveillance needs and potential revisions to surveillance systems to efficiently continue tracking COVID-19 after the PHE ends." 

For now, the CDC will continue to report deaths, hospitalizations, vaccination rates and that tracking will not instantly go away May 11. Additionally, hospitals are set to continue reporting COVID-19 data until at least April 2024 as a requirement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


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