See local COVID-19 case numbers  in the ProtectWell app

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there has been a running daily tally of cases, both around the world and in local communities.

What we can learn from these numbers can make a huge difference in our collective effort to keep our communities open and safe.

Community Cases and Getting Back Together

Case numbers can inform a number of parameters1, including the continuing research around community spread, the efficacy of preventive practices, and how community behavior can affect the physical and economic health of the local area. They can also inform scientists about the efficacy of vaccines and treatments, leading to a more functioning community as a whole. And they can help us see if opening businesses and schools makes sense in keeping our communities safe and healthy.

Community spread

Community spread2 is what experts call instances of someone getting sick even though they have not had any known contact with an infected person. By studying case numbers in defined areas early on, scientists were able to gather data on how the COVID-19 virus was passed among the population, which in turn led to recommending prevention practices to help curb the spread.

Preventive practices keep our communities safe

We have been able to learn a lot about the effectiveness of certain preventive practices over the last year by watching case numbers.

A research project3 using case numbers over six weeks in Seattle showed that reduced contact—social distancing, masking, no large gatherings—resulted in a greatly reduced number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. However, when social distancing and other preventive practices were relaxed, the number of new cases increased.

Stay Up to Date with the ProtectWell App

The ProtectWell app now includes up-to-date numbers of COVID-19 cases in your local county. After you complete a daily check-in, scroll down on the page to see “COVID-19 in your area” where you can enter a county name and track the latest information on total confirmed cases, new cases yesterday and the 14-day change. Up-to-date information continues to be a powerful tool in helping us get back together.

1 7 Ways to Explore the Math of the Coronavirus Using The New York Times. The Learning Network, New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/learning/7-ways-to-explore-the-math-of-the-coronavirus-using-the-new-york-times.html. Published April 2, 2020. Accessed April 12, 2021.

2 How Does Coronavirus Spread? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/lung/qa/what-is-community-spread. Reviewed February 3, 2021. Accessed March 23, 2021.

3 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Social Distancing Interventions to Delay or Flatten the Epidemic Curve of Coronavirus Disease. EID Journal Vol. 26, No. 8, Centers for Disease Control. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/8/20-1093_article. Published August 2020. Accessed March 23, 2021.