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States scale back virus reports despite surges

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Omaha (US), Jul 24 (AP): Several states scaled back their reporting on the coronavirus this month just as cases in the nation tripled. The delta variant of the virus is spreading quickly among the unvaccinated in some states.

The shift to weekly instead of daily reporting in Florida, Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota was accompanied by less detail about the virus in Florida and Nebraska. Some officials have characterized the move as part of a return to normal. However, the average number of new virus cases nationwide went from 11,500 on June 20 to nearly 38,000 this week.

In Florida’s last two weekly reports, the number of new cases increased from 23,000 to 45,000 and then 73,000 on Friday, an average of more than 10,000 day. Hospitals are starting to run out of space in parts of the state.

In Nebraska, the state stopped reporting on the virus altogether for two weeks after Gov. Pete Ricketts declared an end to the official virus emergency, forcing reporters to file public records requests or turn to national websites that track state data to learn about COVID statistics. Nebraska officials backtracked two weeks later and posted a weekly site that provides some basic numbers.

Public health communication expert Joseph Cappella says the spin that these reporting changes are part of a return to normalcy doesn’t fit with recent case numbers. State coronavirus dashboards have become a staple for closely tracking case counts and trends to navigate a crisis that has killed more than 600,000 Americans. (AP) RS RS

(This story is published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. No editing has been done in the headline or the body by ABP Live.)

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