Hospitals and states collecting case data on COVID-19 patients will now be reporting that data directly to the federal government, instead of the CDC's online database.
Beginning this week, according to an update on the Health and Human Services website, states and hospitals are being asked to submit data directly to the federal government and task force in an effort to cut down on duplicate requests and minimize the reporting burden on hospitals and facilities.
“As of July 15,, 2020, hospitals should no longer report the Covid-19 information in this document to the National Healthcare Safety Network site,” the statement reads. The emphasis was added in the original document.
The National Healthcare Safety Network site is the CDC’s site for tracking infectious diseases.
The document says the change in reporting will help the White House coronavirus task force to allocate supplies like personal protective gear, ventilators and drugs like remdesivir.
Some are worried the change in where the data will be kept means a change in public access to the data.
“Historically, C.D.C. has been the place where public health data has been sent, and this raises questions about not just access for researchers but access for reporters, access for the public to try to better understand what is happening with the outbreak," Jen Kates, the director of global health and H.I.V. policy with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, told the the New York Times, who first reported on this change.
Many researchers, scientific modelers and health officials in municipalities around the country rely on the CDC’s data to make projections and time-sensitive decisions.
Michael Caputo, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the department, said in a statement to CNN, a "new faster and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus and the CDC, an operating division of HHS, will certainly participate in this streamlined all-of-government response. They will simply no longer control it."
The document shared by Health and Human Services does not clarify how the data will be accessed by the public.