Mission: To provide a data-driven breakdown of the readiness of every state in the Union to reopen its economy.
Background: Influenced in part by Andy Slavitt, the former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Obama, COVID Exit Strategy is a nonpartisan project launched by healthcare experts and volunteers at United States of Care, U.S. Digital Response, Resolve to Save Lives, and the Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University. The group's focus is on gathering on-the-ground COVID-related data and surfacing it in meaningful ways for state and local leaders to act on.
Outstanding Web Features: The site's main feature is a map that tracks each state's progress toward reopening its economy based on so-called gating criteria provided by the White House in three categories: Symptoms (i.e., a downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses reported within a fourteen-day period AND a downward trajectory of COVID-like syndromic cases reported within a fourteen-day period; Cases (a downward trajectory of documented cases within a fourteen-day period OR a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a fourteen-day period; and Hospitals (the capacity to treat all patients without crisis care AND robust testing programs in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing). The updated color-coded map uses four colors to show how close each state is to reopening based on the gating criteria: green ("trending better"), yellow ("caution warranted"), red ("trending poorly"), and brick red ("uncontrolled spread"). Further down the homepage, the same simple color scale is used to illustrate how each state is doing on key measures, including the fourteen-day trend for COVID cases (increasing or decreasing); the number of new cases per million per day; the level of influenza-like illness in the state; the percentage of the state's testing target achieved; and ICU occupancy rate. (The site notes that as of July 15, ICU bed occupancy is no longer publicly reported by the CDC.) From there, visitors can dive deeper into the site's methodology and sources, the CDC's own criteria, and/or a log of news and announcements.