Data is updated daily at around 6 pm ET.
Data Source: The COVID Tracking Project (https://covidtracking.com/). The data source for home page hero tiles is John's Hopkins University which is updated around mid-night. Thus, it would always be different from what you see here.
Confirmed: Number of people who has COVID-19, confirmed by medical professional or laboratory tests.
Fatal: Coronavirus disease deaths are identified using the ICD–10 code U07.1. Deaths are coded to U07.1 when coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 are reported as a cause that contributed to death on the death certificate. These can include laboratory confirmed cases, as well as cases without laboratory confirmation. If the certifier suspects COVID-19 or determines it was likely (e.g., the circumstances were compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty), they can report COVID-19 as “probable” or “presumed” on the death certificate (5, 6). COVID-19 is listed as the underlying cause on the death certificate in 94% of deaths (more info on www.cdc.gov). Total includes 5740 fatalities reported by NYC but, not included in NYS counts.
Hospitalizations: Number of people currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 as reported by county and state department of health or other government health agency. Quick note on this: Due to the new edict, hospitals are now required to send hospitalization data to HHS instead of CDC. This has resulted in some states not being able to provide complete hospitalization data. The actual hospitalization may be higher than shown here.
Positivity %: Percent of people tested positive for COVID-19. As the states ramp up testing - it is expected this number to go down if prevalence of COVID-19 is stable or decreasing.
Daily Total Tests: Total number of tests conducted on a particular day. This includes positive and negative outcomes. It helps in understanding whether the spread is increasing or decreasing. One argument made by various government agencies is that as we test more - the positivity rate would drop, indicating receding of the disease. This should be read in conjunction with confirmed cases, hospitalizations and positivity rate.
On its own, these metrics are useful indicators but, they should be read as trends over a period and analyzed collectively. A short spike may indicate variability in reporting timing. All dates are "reported date" which maybe different than the actual date of an event (tested positive, fatalities or hospital admission etc). However, it is still very useful to know this as it would help us track the trajectory of the disease.