COVID Tracking Project: A lot of Florida COVID-19 data is still missing

A group of experts collecting its own data on the coronavirus is concerned about Florida. They say there's a lot of data still missing.

With Florida as one of the country's biggest hot spots, that leaves it open to a lot of analysis.

"It’s a big state and therefore it deserves the attention and the scrutiny and it should respond to it by just being more transparent," said Olivier Lacan, with The COVID Tracking Project.

Enter The COVID Tracking Project, a site created and updated by 200 volunteers who constantly sift through, check and analyze COVID data from all over. Last week, they wrote a blog post about all the things wrong with Florida's data.

"The biggest, biggest one when it comes to understanding what’s happening in Florida right now is who’s getting hospitalized, how many people are in the hospital? Is the hospital at capacity?" said Lacan. Lacan lives in Orlando and took interest in the Florida data from the beginning. 

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He says the hospital data on the state's Department of Health web site isn't very clear.

"But also you want to know is the number of people in the hospital right now sick with COVID-19 increasing, stable or decreasing? And there’s no way of knowing that," said Lacan.

It's one of several issues he points out with the information coming from the state as well as missing data on probable cases and deaths, mixed test data, and incomplete data on long-term care facilities, jails, prisons, and race and ethnicity. 

Florida, he says, is not necessarily alone in this. "The way the data’s released all around the U.S. is a mess." 

But the confusion in Florida's data is leading to a bigger issue: distrust in government. "Being open and clear about the data breeds trust and compliance to the mandates of for instance wearing masks," said Lacan.