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COVID data tracking: Best dashboards and other tools parsing cases, hospitalizations, and more

These live dashboards​ pull data from sources like the World Health Organization to show all confirmed and suspected cases of coronavirus, along with recoveries and deaths.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at John Hopkins University is running an online dashboard that tracks the spread of the deadly coronavirus as it proliferates across the United States and around the world. 

The live dashboard pulls data from the World Health Organization (WHO) -- as well as the centers for disease control in the US, China and Europe -- to show all confirmed and suspected cases of coronavirus, along with recovered patients and deaths. The data is visualized through a real-time graphic information system (GIS) powered by Esri. 

Coronavirus -- which causes the respiratory disease known as COVID-19 -- is believed to have originated in Wuhan City, in Hubei province, China, and so far has killed more than 1.6 million people globally. 

The virus has rapidly spread across the United States since March 2020. To date, there have been over 16 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the US and more than 304,000 confirmed deaths. 

Those infected with coronavirus -- known formally as SARS-CoV-2 -- are exhibiting pneumonia-like symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Coronavirus was first reported to the WHO on Dec. 31, 2019, with Chinese investigators linking the disease to the coronavirus family of viruses, which also includes the deadly SARS and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). 

Additional resources for tracking the virus include this page from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and another from the WHO. These websites list up to date news on the spread of the virus as well as situation reports and maps of infected areas. Researchers from the University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School, Boston Children's Hospital and Northeastern University have also launched a virus tracking website with real-time updates.

For more localized tracking, IBM has launched an "Incidents Map" of COVID-19 data available via The Weather Channel app. Users can find local information from the map, which leverages data from the state and local governments and the WHO. The company also used these data sources to build an interactive dashboard on IBM Cognos Analytics, designed to be used by researchers, data scientists, and media organizations.

Additionally, Salesforce-owned Tableau has developed a free data resource hub to provide visibility into coronavirus data. The hub gives the public access to data from vetted sources, such as the WHO and CDC, in a ready-to-use data stream.

Best coronavirus tracker dashboards

The following dashboards are frequently updated and offer useful visuals like maps and graphs as well as statistics.

The live dashboard pulls data from the WHO -- as well as the centers for disease control in the US, China, and Europe -- to show all confirmed and suspected cases of coronavirus, along with recovered patients and deaths. The data is visualized through a real-time graphic information system (GIS) powered by Esri. 

This live map from Esri, one of the key providers of data mapping and visualizations during the coronavirus pandemic, offers a state-by-state look at COVID-19 infection trend lines and statistics. The data includes state population and the number of deaths per capita, as well information on how each state ranks in terms of cases per capita, deaths per capita, and fatality rate.

This is a basic tracker. It shows up-to-date infection statistics aggregated from authoritative sources like the WHO, CDC, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). You can click countries or states on the map and see the latest infection stats, along with the latest COVID-19 news coverage.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's dashboard also provides a comprehensive overview of the spread of coronavirus, especially in the US. It serves up a map along with reliable health guides and tips. Our only nitpick is that it isn't as frequently updated, and it doesn't even update over the weekends.

This tool also isn't as frequently updated, but it is easy to read and has a super minimalist interface. You can use it to get a full case number breakdown for each country, complete with a timeline graph showing when the cases were reported. You can also click around and instantly zoom in to explore country maps in detail, too.

The New York Times has a coronavirus website with several frequently updated maps and graphs that display the latest publicly available health data on the spread of coronavirus. You can also find news for context, toggle between different visuals, and seamlessly scroll through to find more information.

This gallery offers quick links to thousands of COVID-19 visualizations from state and local governments, healthcare networks, hospitals and health departments, universities, and data savvy citizens. The data used in the visualizations comes from Tableau Public, which provides access to location-specific case tracking data. The visualizations are vetted and updated regularly. 

Data platform provider Splunk offers a selection of real-time dashboards via its Splunk for Good website, providing background and context on the evolving COVID-19 situation. The curated list of dashboards offers fast links to detailed coronavirus case tracking in the US and the United Kingdom. Like most coronavirus trackers, the main data source is John's Hopkins University. 

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