States scale back virus reporting just as cases surge

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Several states scaled back their reporting on COVID-19 this month just as cases across the country tripled with the delta variant of the virus spreading quickly among the unvaccinated.

The shift to weekly instead of daily reporting in Florida, Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota was also accompanied by less detail about the virus in Florida and Nebraska, and some officials described the move as part of a return to normal.

At the same time, the average number of new virus cases nationwide went from 11,500 on June 20 to nearly 38,000 this week.

Public health communication expert Joseph Cappella said the spin that these reporting changes are part of a return to normalcy doesn’t fit with recent case numbers.