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Reader Mail: How do you get your COVID-19 Data?
A reader recently wrote us concerned about the COVID-19 Data provided by Blossomland News, she wrote:
Hi, I just saw a post that someone shared that states Berrien County is now in a high risk category for COVID that is linked to your website. I looked at the Berrien County Health Department website and found no Alert for our county. On your website it claims that there was expected to be 35 people hospitalized for COVID on July 10 but according to the county website there are 8 currently hospitalized in the ICU and zero in non ICU. My concern with the post that was shared over 100 times is that the information does not seem to be factual and the numbers are incorrect. If the information that you are showing was true and accurate, wouldn't it be on the Berrien County Health Dept website and Facebook group?
My concern is for the people that read the information you are providing and believing it to be factual without checking for themselves.
If you can share where you found your information I would appreciate it so that I can read it for myself.
Dear Concerned Berrien County Resident:
Thank you for questioning what you read and wanting to dig further. I love informed readers!
The COVID-19 data and advisories on Blossomland News, and our social media page are from covidactnnow.org, Covid Act Now works in partnership with the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security, Stanford University Clinical Excellence Research Center, and Grand Rounds to provide data to the general public and the media. We cite covidactnow.org on each article.
I have vetted Covid Act Now and found this source is recognized as the most reputable by journalistic outlets. They present data is a way that is easy to understand. Covid Act Now does use the data from MDHHS and the Berrien County Health Department in their data models. Since the data models use weighted averages it takes awhile for active new cases to make an impact in the model. Covid Act Now makes a determination based on the data as to the risk level (Low, Medium, High, Critical). This risk level does not come from the health department or government agency.
I've also considered the opinions and feedback of my readers in the determination to use Covid Act Now. The feedback I have received so far is that it's relatable and easy to understand.
The Berrien County Health Department does monitor Blossomland News and has an open dialog with me. I have not had any feedback from them on the way data is presented on Blossomland News. Be assured, if they express a concern I would make corrections as to how the data is being reported.
Written by: Nate Smith-Manley