Johns Hopkins to sunset COVID-19 tracker

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center plans to shut down March 10, officials told NPR in a Feb. 10 report. 

The data tracker had been running since March 3, 2020 — when access to moving data on the outbreak was sparse. At the time, the CDC and the World Health Organization were not yet providing real-time data. The tool was launched by Lauren Gardner, PhD, an engineering professor at Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University, and run mostly by women. It cost $13 million and has garnered more than 2.5 billion views since its launch. 

"It is a staggering amount of traffic," Beth Blauer, associate vice provost at JHU who helped run the data tracker, told NPR. "These are numbers I don't think I'll ever see again in my professional career."

The tracker was a critical tool used daily by public health officials, researchers and major media outlets, guiding decisions about mitigation measures and where drug companies should test vaccines. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters a non-crisis phase and the CDC ramps up data reporting, the university decided it would cease operations on the data tracker. 

"There's definitely a bitter sweetness about the end … but we are at an inflection point," Ms. Blauer told NPR


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