“Truth never damages a cause that is just.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Florida COVID Action LLC is a registered Florida social benefits corporation made of scientists specializing in public health research, data science, and data visualization. Founded by Florida scientist and whistle-blower Rebekah Jones, Covid Action is committed to data access and transparency during the coronavirus pandemic (and beyond).
COVID Action was founded on the principal that people have a right to know what’s going on during a global pandemic. Reporting data fairly, completely and transparently is of the upmost importance.
Truth, justice and data for all!
We believe the public has a right to our data, which is why everything we publish is free for anyone to use. All we ask is that you cite Florida COVID Action when using our data.
Our data definitions document can accessed here. Please note this document is frequently updated and subject to change.
Support from the academic and professional organizations that lead this kind of research speaks volumes about the importance of integrity and transparency in science.
Here are just a few of the organisations who have publicly supported our efforts:
#Insubordinate in the news:
- Rebekah Jones, Manager of Data and Surveillance, Florida Department of Health (Florida)
- Dr. Nichole Quick, Chief Health Officer for Orange County (California)
- Dr. Stephen Nelson, Chief Medical Examiner in Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties (Florida)
- Sal Hadwan, Nurse at Destroit Medical Center’s Sinai Grace Hospital (Michigan)
- Stephanie Gilmore, Nurse at Diamond Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (New York)
- Dr. Ming Lin, Doctor at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center (Washington)
- Emily Brown, Director of the RIo Grande County Public Health Department (Colorado)
- Dr. Amy Action, State Health Director (Ohio)
- Jay Brainard, TSA Federal Security Director (Kansas)
- Sheriff Mike Chitwood, Volusia County (Florida)
- Dana Jones, Nurse Practitioner (Iowa)
How our map is different:
We count everyone who has had a confirmed-positive COVID-19 lab result, including molecular, antigen and antibody testing. Any cumulative count of positive people in Florida should include any person who has a confirmed-positive lab result, whether tested while symptomatic or not. This helps us better track the disease burden on healthcare systems and its spread in the community.
We show the number of positive people, hospitalizations, and deaths for everyone tested, hospitalized or who died in Florida, regardless of their legal address. DOH excludes non-residents from its demographic data, zip code data, death data, and case data over time.
We show hospital data – including active bed counts and availability, updated every 30 minutes by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) through a public data feed. We also built an API feed that takes AHCA’s newest data release, which counts “active” COVID-19 patients in each county, which we update at least twice daily.
We provide a report card for each county to measure readiness to enter the next phase of reopening based on the criteria DOH and the State outlined in late April, tracking emergency room data, case data, and testing data for a composite readiness score.
We provide testing site locations and data, including hours of operation, test type, and contact information for every testing facility in the state. We have a separate testing application tool, as well, which can be used to search for facilities and print directions.
We provide information about community resources, including the locations, contact information and hours for Red Cross facilities, food banks, USDA Meals for Kids locations, and more.
We show city-level case data, made available through daily PDF reports but never added to the DOH dashboard, so communities can better-understand their risk. We also show the number of cases by city by week so the public can see how cases are being reported in their cities over time.
We put the data in context, clearly stating each variable’s limitations and caveats for all the data on the site.
We provide public data feeds that aren’t dependent on the now-unreliable DOH dashboard, and are pulled directly from the PDF reports issued by DOH each morning. Anyone can download the raw data and analyze it for free, regardless of whether or not the dashboard is crashing, and we provide the daily data for all PDFs and data tables published by DOH each day on our Open Data site.
Most importantly, we ask the community for input. If there’s data the public wants to see, and we have a way of accurately counting or finding that data, we will do our best to do so. If people want to add event information or resources the public can access for testing or for help, they can add it to our map by filling out a short, anonymous survey.
We started tracking COVID-19 cases in Florida k-12 schools and universities in July. Now we’ve partnered with FinMango and Google’s COVID-19 Open Data project to track cases in every school district in the country, cataloging every report of cases and reviewing data submitted through our safe and 100% anonymous report form.
What we still can’t do:
Count probable cases and deaths. Florida does not follow CDC guidance on reporting probable cases, hospitalizations or deaths by not publishing this data. Without critical information about probable cases, our understanding of the virus, its burden on our communities and health systems, and its change in spread over time is very limited.
Measure precise recovery and recovery rates based on case data. The CDC outlined clear guidance for determining what qualifies someone as being “recovered” two months ago, but DOH never released that data (even though they have it). Without the data from DOH, we can only estimate the number of recovered based on the data DOH already makes public, which could be over/under the CDC-outlined guidance.
Show total cases that include non-residents at the zip code or city level. Both the zip code and city-level data provided by DOH excludes non-residents and all persons testing positive by antibody testing.
Provide county or zip-code level data or city-level data for molecular, antibody or antigen testing. Data currently is submitted based on county, presumably the county of residence, but that is not clear. It is also unclear if this data includes residents and non-residents.
Show data about cases in jails and other detention centers. DOH currently only reports prison deaths of confirmed-positive inmates by facility, and separately reports “corrections” cases by county. No data is provided for testing in state prisons by DOH, and no data is provided for case totals, testing, or cases for jails in the state of Florida. DOH’s prison deaths data is only released once a week, while the Florida Department of Corrections updates its totals daily. DOC updates its case and testing data daily at noon, but it’s not consistent with other DOC and DOH data.
Florida COVID Action is a rag-tag group of volunteers specializing in public health research, data science, and data visualization.