Posted by: Josh Lehner | September 3, 2020

New COVID-19 Data Tracking Page

Standard economic data like the monthly employment reports, quarterly GDP, and the like remain the best way to track what is happening in the U.S. and Oregon economies. However, COVID-19 and the pandemic has been moving so fast that trying to assess the current state of the economy is challenging with backward looking reports.

Our office has been tracking 10 real-time data points to help assess the current state of the pandemic and economy. Given our office expects this to be a multiyear recovery, we started a new page here on the blog. When in doubt we thought we should make this material easier for people to follow if they so choose.

You will find this new page at the top of where we have an “About” page and the new “COVID-19 Tracking” page. Or you can find it via a direct link here: https://oregoneconomicanalysis.com/covidtracking/ Our office plans on updating these charts every week or two. Given data release schedules, this will most likely happen on Thursdays.


Responses

  1. Josh,

    Thanks for putting up those metrics. Here in Lane County, we have really poor collection, presentation and use of Covid-19 statistics. As just two examples:

    * Reporting on “contact tracing” way overstates the meaningful performance. What we need is “life cycle” or “end-to-end” statistics. “100%” performance should mean that each and every contact begins to test negative or conforms to directives (e.g., quarantine) before the contact becomes infectious.

    While this goal may be impractical, what results are obtained in relation are what we need to know. The county staff appear to be reporting just how many reported contacts are contacted (which might include leaving a voice message) within a certain number of hours. That’s meaningless.

    * Providing “feel good” public narratives (i.e., how “well” the county is doing re school opening criteria, etc.) based on county-wide statistics, when the statistics for the Eugene-Springfield metro area are much worse.

    The Governor’s use of county “granularity” is totally disconnected from science. Effective tracking and action needs to be based on functional geography.

    • Thanks Paul for the local insights. I am not up to date on how exactly the contact tracing works on the ground. It would be great if the system was robust enough to manage the pandemic and people did self isolate as needed. In terms of the schools, for larger geographic counties it is my understanding there were some differences for the rural districts even in urban counties to help account for some of the issue you bring up. I also suppose it depends on how you define the differences around the county, and from there one could figure out the impact of the, roughly, 1/3 rural parts of the county on the Lane figures versus the, roughly, 2/3 eugene/springfield/immediate surrounding areas impact on the county figures.

  2. […] Source: New COVID-19 Data Tracking Page | Oregon Office of Economic Analysis […]


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