Peters Requests CDC Make COVID-19 Testing Data Public to Ensure Effective Response to the Pandemic

Senator Asks CDC for Comprehensive Demographic Data About Testing Results, Health Care Access and More Amid Ongoing Limited Access to Tests

DETROIT, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) asked the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to publicly report all available information about who is able to access COVID-19 tests, which continue to be scarce. He, along with more than a dozen Senators, requested CDC Director Robert R. Redfield collect and provide data broken down by sex, race, ethnicity, whether a patient is a health care provider and any other available demographics. The CDC is currently only disclosing a subset of its data, primarily the age groups of those testing positive, hospitalizations and fatalities. 

“While we know that Michigan is a hot spot for Coronavirus and that this pandemic is disproportionately impacting the African American community, there are is a lot more data we need the CDC to provide so that we can effectively address this pandemic,” Senator Peters said. “It’s important that the CDC publicly report information about who can access tests and also share demographic data so that we can better understand and combat this disease.”

The members requested the CDC publicly report demographic information collected on the Human Infection with 2019 Novel Coronavirus Person Under Investigation (PUI) and Case Report Form - sex, race, ethnicity, whether a patient is a health care provider and any other available demographics - as a function of: 

a) access to testing; 

b) positive test results; 

c) hospitalizations; 

d) intensive care unit admissions; and 

e) fatalities.

Peters also requested that any updated PUI and Case Report Form include updated categories for race, ethnicity, sex, primary language and disability status consistent with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Guidance on Data Collection Standards, as well as an input for “specialty” of the health care worker.

To allow government agencies and researchers access to the data, the members also requested that the data be made available as a National Center for Health Statistics public-use data file.

A copy of the letter is available here.