Mass. switching from daily to weekly COVID-19 data reports

“​​The updated reporting reflects the current status of COVID-19 and its impact.”

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

For the bulk of the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts public health officials have released data on new cases, deaths, and hospitalizations on almost a daily basis to keep locals informed on the virus risk within their communities. 

That will change starting next week when the state’s Department of Public Health will switch to reporting the commonwealth’s COVID-19 data weekly. Originally, the state published the interactive dashboard with COVID-19 case and vaccine information seven days a week, dropping it last year to the five weekdays.

In a statement, officials said the latest update to the frequency of reporting the data reflects the “evolving COVID-19 response” in the state. 


“As the pandemic has continued to evolve, so too have our data needs,” state epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown said in a statement. “The changes taking effect next week are part of our ongoing efforts to adapt to the pandemic and focus on the metrics most useful at a given time. The updated reporting reflects the current status of COVID-19 and its impact.”

The move comes as experts have been warning the public to keep an eye out for coronavirus symptoms in the wake of July Fourth celebrations and travel and as concerns have been growing about the potential impacts of the highly transmissible omicron subvariants, known BA.5 and BA.4. 

“It’s definitely a time to be more vigilant,” Dr. Sabrina Assoumou, an assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and an attending physician in the section of infectious diseases at Boston Medical Center, told the Boston Globe earlier this week.

Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, warned on Friday that wastewater COVID-19 data indicates the virus levels in the city remain “stable, but high.”

“Masking indoors is important for everyone to reduce risk,” she said.

Starting the week of July 11, the state’s COVID-19 Interactive Data Dashboard will be posted on Thursdays. 


Additionally, the report will no longer include information on contact tracing and case clusters “due to changes in case investigation and contact tracing practices” that make the data no longer representative of the situation on the ground, according to the state. The report will also stop including information on cases related to colleges and other higher education environments due to “the decrease in surveillance testing being conducted in those settings,” the state said. 

“While we all have become used to checking the numbers every day, monitoring trends over time is actually the most useful way to apply the COVID-19 data,” Dr. Helen Boucher, interim dean of Tufts University School of Medicine and member of the Governor’s Medical Advisory Board, said in a statement released by the Department of Public Health. “Given that Massachusetts has one of the best vaccination and booster percentages in the nation, these changes make sense at this stage in our COVID-19 response.”

Going forward, the state’s weekly COVID-19 vaccination report, which has been publishing on Thursdays, will be released on Wednesdays. 

The state said it will continue to monitor COVID-19 “closely” in the state and maintain the ability to increase the frequency of the data reporting should there be a need.


On Thursday, Massachusetts reported 1,699 new COVID-19 cases and 18 new deaths. 


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