In July of any other year, many of us would be starting our mornings catching up on the score of last night’s game, or checking in on the stock market. But in 2020, the most important number—the one we all want to see every day—is how many new cases of COVID-19 struck the country and the state where we live in the past 24 hours.
The trouble is, there’s so much information available—much of it inconsistent or incomplete—that it can be difficult to quickly get a clear read on how dire the coronavirus pandemic is today compared to yesterday, or two weeks ago, or three months ago. In an effort to reduce the noise, TIME has developed a one-stop dashboard that condenses all the available data into as concise and informative a presentation as possible.
The dashboard is built off of essentially the same metrics that, as journalists who have spent months combing through the numbers, we find most useful in informing TIME’s reporting on this unprecedented crisis. We figured that, so long as we’re already spending untold hours calculating the clearest picture possible, we ought to publish the results for anyone to examine. Beginning today, we’ll be updating the page every morning with the latest figures from the previous day.
The first thing you’ll see on this page is a small “snapshot” showing the total number of cases and fatalities both globally and in the U.S. and, more importantly, how much those figures have grown both in the previous day and over the past two weeks—roughly the incubation time between when a person is infected and when they are likely to show any symptoms. This section also includes a list of every state that has recently reported a new daily record-high number of infections, landmarks that frequently make headlines.
As you scroll down the page, you’ll see the rise and fall of new cases in every state and the U.S. at large, as well as which states are currently responsible for the largest percentage of new cases in the country. The state-by-state comparison, we’ve found, is one of the most important means of understanding how the nation is faring because the situation on the ground looks very different depending on where you live. While the nationwide figures for infections and deaths might be the most commonly cited metrics, those U.S-wide numbers are largely made up of only a small handful of states. And which states those are has changed repeatedly since the pandemic took off in the U.S. in early March.
Finally, the dashboard includes a map and list showing the toll—both in raw numbers and on a per capita basis—of COVID-19 on every nation and sovereign territory.
We’ll be adding modules to this dashboard as new metrics emerge that we find to be essential in navigating this pandemic. Feel free to send us suggestions if there is a particular metric you have trouble finding and would like to see—bearing in mind that the data are constantly trying to catch up to reality, just like we all are. We hope this dashboard can help.
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Contributor: Chris Wilson and Elijah Wolfson