Covering coronavirus: What the data tells us

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

10 a.m. 11 a.m. PT


We have been grappling with the coronavirus pandemic for months now, yet neither COVID-19 nor our coverage of it is anywhere close to being over. How can we continue to report on this story in novel ways that inform our communities, while steering clear of sensationalism? In this webinar, we’ll look broadly at the changing landscape of data on COVID-19 and specifically at data sources that can aid informed, in-depth reporting on the overall trend of the pandemic, the infrastructure needed to survive it, and the people most vulnerable to it. Kaiser Health News data editor Liz Lucas will walk through data sources on case counts, deaths and demographics; on nursing homes, which have been particularly hard hit, and hospitals. We’ll also look at sources on the most vulnerable populations: the poor, those with inadequate housing, those with preexisting conditions. We’ll talk about what data exists nationally and what data you should pursue locally.


Elizabeth Lucas is data editor for Kaiser Health News, where she specializes in data analysis and reporting for the KHN enterprise team. She and a colleague were finalists for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Journalism for exposing predatory bill collection by the University of Virginia Health System that relentlessly squeezed low-income patients — many into bankruptcy — forcing the non-profit, state-run hospital to change its tactics. She came to Kaiser Health News from Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), where she spent four years training and supporting data journalists around the world as the NICAR Data Library director. Previously she worked as a data reporter on health and the environment for the Center for Public Integrity. She has a master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism.