COVID-19 has now dragged into its second year. It’s more important now than ever to take in accurate information that is verified and without bias. The current information environment has now transitioned from discovering resources about testing to information about vaccinations and variants. We have found five of the best websites for consuming the latest in pandemic news, testing information, tracking the spread of the virus, and more. As information updates at a rapid rate, it is more important now than ever to ensure that you are up to date on the latest.
1. The WHO’s COVID-19 Dashboard
The global COVID-19 pandemic comes with local and community effects, making it difficult to find a global source that is without bias or that works equally to serve a global audience. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 Dashboard is the closest resource we can get to that. For individuals in need of an official source on the latest numbers or stats, the WHO Dashboard offers that. Along with cases, the WHO COVID-19 Dashboard offers the official numbers of deaths in both an informative and visually appealing manner.
Vaccines are currently very fragile and held at certain temperatures for only a certain period. This makes them scarce resources during the pandemic. With VaccineFinder, through CDC, individuals interested in a vaccine can look at the vaccine stock of their local providers to have a better understanding of whether they are running low or out of stock.
In partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital and Castlight Health, VaccineFinder currently works with providers that get their stock from the United States Government. The platform was already an established name for other vaccines and was a natural progression for the current pandemic. VaccineFinder hopes to expand in the coming weeks to more localities. Given how VaccineFinder receives its information from official health care sources, updated every 24 hours, the roll-out should be much faster than other services.
3. The COVID Tracking Project
For individuals looking for specific U.S. information, the Atlantic’s COVID Tracking Project provides that. This resource acts as a one-stop data shop on all the U.S. resources available for individuals related to the pandemic. The project currently focuses on case numbers, rates and figures related to PCR and rapid antigen testing, and the rate of the virus across the United States. The COVID Tracking Project is the most comprehensive in providing additional context for the numbers, allowing researchers and academics to use the project’s charts and Data API.
4. NPR: Coronavirus By the Numbers
For fans of National Public Radio, or NPR’s Up First podcast, you might have heard of NPR’s Coronavirus By the Numbers section. Here you’ll find the website’s effort during the pandemic to document how severe the outbreak has raged on and the current trends based on the latest data. However, the real showstopper is the website’s tool on how to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. The service works by first selecting your state/jurisdiction, and from there the service will let you know if you are eligible, how to register, and what your next steps are. If it’s not your turn, the website allows you to sign up and get alerted. NPR updates this service daily.
5. Google: Coronavirus Information & Insights
Google is coming out on top as a major player in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. On the research front, Google launched Google Health Studies on the Google Play Store as a playground for the search engine giant to help communities gain information through weekly one-minute respiratory health studies done right through the phone. Google’s partnership with Apple in the Exposure Notification System helps localities better perform contact tracing through Bluetooth.
All of this information, along with Google’s search engine metrics, analytics from Google Trends, and the latest numbers from the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization has made it a great resource for understanding the latest on the pandemic and gaining a grasp on what’s at the forefront of the public’s mind regarding it.
This pandemic has affected a great deal of people, and the above websites will give you the necessary information to stay educated and safe. Regardless of the status, it is always best to keep a social distance with others, wash your hands, and wear a mask when you are out.