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From the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

USAFacts Coronavirus Facts Campaign 2020: Ensuring Americans Have Facts During a Critical Time

Entered in Nonprofit

About this entry

USAFacts is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan civic initiative providing the most comprehensive and understandable single source of government data as an online resource of well-visualized data and trends in US spending, revenue, demographics and policy outcomes – aimed at helping to ground our public debate in facts on topical content throughout the year. 

Coronavirus Data Hub and Map

In early March when Coronavirus began to take off, USAFacts developed the 2020 Coronavirus Data Hub and Map Tracking the Daily Spread of the Virus in Every U.S. County. The initiative had a value that surpassed any to-date because use of the resource by everyday Americans as well as government agencies and private and public organizations helped people make decisions focused on initiatives ranging from “flattening the curve” to marshalling resources and people. (See: Announcement of Coronavirus Hub and Map

Coronavirus Impact and Recovery Hub

As countries began to slowly recover from Covid, USAFacts created the Coronavirus Impact and Recovery Hub in order to inform the American public of tangible and intangible facts surrounding the recovery. The Recovery Hub was intended to gauge the recovery efforts of the US through data and visualizations on topics such as  health, employment, businesses, the economy and more. 

Why does this entry deserve to win?

USAFacts strove to inform and protect the American public in the development of their two COVID-19 coronavirus resources. The main challenges were collecting the vast amount of data, organizing it into visualizations and getting the word out about the resources. 

Coronavirus Data Hub and Map

USAFacts collected data from over a thousand government sources and provided the most granular, regularly updated pandemic data readily available. The Hub contained:

 Providing numerical data to the public and expecting them to naturally engage with the data was not enough. The USAFacts team also worked to create unique visualizations that allowed the user to engage with and understand the data with a single glance. These visualizations made the data far more accessible for the general public.  

The success of the Hub hinged on as many people using the resource as possible. So the USAFacts team encouraged journalists and media outlets to utilize their data and as a result have been cited hundreds of times. The News Literacy Project listed the Hub as one of the 7 essential sources of Coronavirus data, alongside sources such as WHO, CDC and Johns Hopkins. 

Additionally, other organizations including the CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Feed America and others also began sourcing USAFacts' data. 

Recovery Hub

USAFacts' coronavirus data hubs provide frequently updated data on topics such as health, employment, businesses, and more, allowing visitors to easily compare trends in one area to another rather than visiting multiple sites. The USAFacts team creates understandable, colorful charts making it easy to dive right in and explore the data on health, government and consumer spending, unemployment claims, air travel passengers, government spending and more. The design of USAFacts Coronavirus Recovery Hub provides unprecedented real-time access to government data related to our nation’s path towards coronavirus recovery. The Hub is grounded in the concept that busy people want one place to go to get trusted facts and resources, and the hub provides that data daily.

Until now, access to the range and depth of facts the COVID-19 Impact and Recovery Hub offers was time and resource prohibitive. USAFacts brought these numbers to light by sourcing and presenting the data in easy-to-read visualizations, empowering users to simply get to the facts as easily as they check the weather.


As always, in the case of USAFacts Coronavirus resources, during a time in our nation when many were fighting to help “flatten the curve” and keep people alive and healthy throughout the unprecedented global pandemic, USAFacts stayed core to our mission to provide non-partisan data and inform so people can take the actions they deem appropriate and decide what affect those actions are taking. In terms of providing a resource that has helped Americans get those facts in relation to non-partisan data related to the coronavirus, our site traffic and coverage of the data underscores the success of our mission. 

With over 8.2 page views to-date of USAFacts' respective Coronavirus resource, USAFacts’ efforts led to more informed, Americans. As a granular, county by county resource, the Data Hub and Map kept people aware of the situation in their own communities, not just state or national level.

The CDC cited USAFacts Data Hub and Map as THE source for the most accurate and updated resource for the public. Hundreds of journalists cited USAFacts data in their reporting, further expanding the reach and impact of the resources. 

The USAFacts team is confident that they have served (and continue to serve as both resources are updated constantly) their civic and social duty as Americans to keep their fellow citizens safe and informed to the best of their ability. 


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