In this file:


·         Johns Hopkins is reducing its COVID data tracking

·         WHO: COVID end 'in sight,' deaths at lowest since March 2020



Johns Hopkins is reducing its COVID data tracking


Herb Scribner, Axios

Sep 14, 2022


Johns Hopkins University is scaling back how much and how frequently it tracks COVID-19 pandemic metrics due to a slowdown in local data reporting, the university confirmed to Axios.


Why it matters: There will be less attention on COVID case numbers and deaths, which could leave Americans in the dark about future surges.


Details: The university's data dashboard — which helped track case numbers, deaths and other metrics — will begin a slowdown on Sept. 21 since there is less reporting data available in the U.S. and around the world, according to university officials.


o   The dashboard will now update with daily global case numbers, deaths and vaccine data, instead of every hour.

o   Testing numbers will be dropped from the dashboard completely since more people have shifted to using at-home tests, which aren't tracked by health authorities.

o   It will also collect data from other sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

o   "The changes are being driven by the declining quality and utility of pandemic data reported by state governments," the university said in an email to Axios.


What they're saying: “We have seen a dramatic shift in the way that state and local governments not only collect this data but share it publicly,” Beth Blauer, data head for the university's Coronavirus Resource Center, told Wall Street Journal. “That deeply constrains the way that we can actually report.”


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WHO: COVID end 'in sight,' deaths at lowest since March 2020


Associated Press

via WPLG (FL) - September 14, 2022


GENEVA – The head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday that the number of coronavirus deaths worldwide last week was the lowest reported in the pandemic since March 2020, marking what could be a turning point in the years-long global outbreak.


At a press briefing in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world has never been in a better position to stop COVID-19.


“We are not there yet, but the end is in sight,” he said, comparing the effort to that made by a marathon runner nearing the finish line. “Now is the worst time to stop running,” he said. “Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line and reap all the rewards of our hard work.”


In its weekly report on the pandemic, the U.N. health agency said deaths fell by 22% in the past week, at just over 11,000 reported worldwide. There were 3.1 million new cases, a drop of 28%, continuing a weeks-long decline in the disease in every part of the world.


Still, the WHO warned that relaxed COVID testing and surveillance in many countries means that many cases are going unnoticed. The agency issued a set of policy briefs for governments to strengthen their efforts against the coronavirus ahead of the expected winter surge of COVID-19, warning that new variants could yet undo the progress made to date.


“If we don’t take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty," Tedros said.


The WHO reported that the omicron subvariant BA.5 continues to dominate globally and comprised nearly 90% of virus samples shared with the world's biggest public database. In recent weeks, regulatory authorities in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere have cleared tweaked vaccines that target both the original coronavirus and later variants including BA.5.


Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead on COVID-19, said the organization expected future waves of the disease, but was hopeful those would not cause many deaths.


Meanwhile in China, residents of a city in the country's far western Xinjiang region have said they are experiencing hunger, forced quarantines and dwindling supplies of medicine and daily necessities after more than 40 days in a lockdown prompted by COVID-19...