Florida this week passed the threshold of 1 million people infected with COVID-19, but the numbers aren't everything.
Monitoring the total number of cases is valuable to the extent that it focuses attention on how many lives the pandemic has touched, but it's of little use to judge how widespread the pandemic is on any given day.
Scientists look at a tangle of other data to get a read on the extent of the pandemic: positivity rates, frequency of testing, trends in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
What they don’t see is how many people are sick at a given time.
Researchers are reevaluting their methodology, complicated by the ways states report their information.
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