The COVID Symptom Tracker app has been live in the U.S. since March 29, 2020 and has generated more than 1 million assessments from more than 150,000 users. We thank the citizen scientists from all 50 states who are helping us collect valuable data to inform our clinical and epidemiology research studies. This effort has brought together researchers across the United States to enroll members of existing cohorts and research studies and is a true testament to our valuable research volunteers. This nationwide effort has allowed us to visualize community level trends in symptom prevalence, testing rates, and known and suspected COVID-19 cases. Importantly, we have collected data from US healthcare workers and are nearing completion on an analysis which is helping us to understand the specific risks that are impacting our most valuable resources on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.
BUT our job is not done! Continued use of the app is helping us understand the disease course in the US and identify areas that have not yet peaked. We need more people, especially in regions where symptoms are still being reported from large proportions of the community. We urgently need individuals in Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, Arkansas, Alabama, West Virginia, Delaware, and Vermont to help us collect more information within these states. Additional users allow us to get a more accurate understanding of COVID-19 dynamics in the US at the state and local level.
States like Nevada, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Illinois, Utah, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey where 1 out of 4 people (>25% or app users) are reporting symptoms are greatly in need of additional surveillance and testing. (For maps of specific symptoms, please click on the links:
In almost all states, the amount of individuals reporting possible COVID-19 symptoms greatly outpaces those that have received COVID-19 testing. Places like Washington, New York and New Jersey are reporting some of the highest rates of testing among users, but even in these states testing rates are <10%.
Many experts agree that increasing testing rates will be critical to reopening states and our data demonstrates that some states with the lowest reported testing rates have the highest prevalence of symptoms. We encourage all individuals to share this app with friends and family and remind everyone to track how they are feeling, even if you are healthy, as this helps us understand true rates of COVID in your community. These data will be critical to continue to track COVID-19 and identify emerging trends that may help us identify ways to better equip our healthcare workers, determine where additional testing is needed, to alert states and communities about potential hotspots. In areas where the worst may have already come to pass, continued logging will allow us to identify any reemergence earlier and help inform re-opening recommendations.