CDC Launches New Weekly COVID-19 Surveillance Report

Indicators that track flu-like illness and deaths from pneumonia both elevated at this time

CDC is modifying existing surveillance systems to track COVID-19, and posted the first of what will be a weekly surveillance report called, “COVIDView.” The report, updated each Friday, will summarize and interpret key indicators, including information related to COVID-19 outpatient visits, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations and deaths, as well as laboratory data.

The first COVIDView shows:

  • Visits to outpatient providers and emergency departments for illnesses with symptom presentation similar to COVID-19 are elevated compared to what is normally seen at this time of year. At this time, there is little influenza (flu) virus circulation.
  • The overall cumulative COVID-19 associated hospitalization rate is 4.6 per 100,000, with the highest rates in persons 65 years and older (13.8 per 100,000) and 50-64 years (7.4 per 100,000). These rates are similar to what is seen at the beginning of an annual influenza epidemic.
  • The percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) increased to 8.2% and is above the epidemic threshold of 7.2%. The percent of deaths due to pneumonia has increased sharply since the end of February, while those due to influenza increased modestly through early March and declined this week. This could reflect an increase in deaths from pneumonia caused by non-influenza associated infections, including COVID-19.
  • The National Center for Health Statistics is monitoring deaths associated with COVID-19. Those data are available beginning today and will be featured in this report next week.

COVIDView specifically reports the following:

  • Virus information: This includes COVID-19 diagnostic testing data provided by public health and clinical laboratories. For example, COVIDView will include the percentage of respiratory specimens collected from patients that test positive for SARS-COV-2.
  • Outpatient and Emergency Department Visits: This is syndromic (i.e., not laboratory confirmed disease) data and will be reported as the percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) or COVID-19-like illness (CLI) nationally and in each of the 10 Health and Human Services (HHS) surveillance regions across the country. This data is provided through two surveillance systems: the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like-illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) and the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP).
  • Severe Disease Information: This includes information on COVID-19-associated hospitalizations and deaths. The hospitalization data is provided by COVID-NET, which conducts population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations among children and adults through a network of over 250 acute care hospitals in 14 states. Mortality data is provided by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), which reports provisional death counts based on death certificate data received and coded by the National Center for Health Statistics. COVID-NET hospitalization data and NCHS mortality data are summarized in COVIDView each week, but they also each have a webpage where this data is posted (links provided below).
  • Additional surveillance systems and data sources, including expansions of the currently launched systems and sources of data, will be added over time.
/CDC Release. View in full here.