Profile Picture NCIRD-CORVD

created May 15 2020

updated Apr 5 2024


Authorizations to collect certain public health data expired at the end of the U.S. public health emergency declaration on May 11, 2023. The following jurisdictions discontinued COVID-19 case notifications to CDC: Iowa (11/8/21), Kansas (5/12/23), Kentucky (1/1/24), Louisiana (10/31/23), New Hampshire (5/23/23), and Oklahoma (5/2/23). Please note that these jurisdictions will not routinely send new case data after the dates indicated. As of 7/13/23, case notifications from Oregon will only include pediatric cases resulting in death.
This case surveillance public use dataset has 12 elements for all COVID-19 cases shared with CDC and includes demographics, any exposure history, disease severity indicators and outcomes, presence of any underlying medical conditions and risk behaviors, and no geographic data.
CDC has three COVID-19 case surveillance datasets:
The following apply to all three datasets:
The COVID-19 case surveillance database includes individual-level data reported to U.S. states and autonomous reporting entities, including New York City and the District of Columbia (D.C.), as well as U.S. territories and affiliates. On April 5, 2020, COVID-19 was added to the Nationally Notifiable Condition List and classified as “immediately notifiable, urgent (within 24 hours)” by a Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Interim Position Statement (Interim-20-ID-01). CSTE updated the position statement on August 5, 2020, to clarify the interpretation of antigen detection tests and serologic test results within the case classification (Interim-20-ID-02). The statement also recommended that all states and territories enact laws to make COVID-19 reportable in their jurisdiction, and that jurisdictions conducting surveillance should submit case notifications to CDC. COVID-19 case surveillance data are collected by jurisdictions and reported voluntarily to CDC.
The deidentified data in the “COVID-19 Case Surveillance Public Use Data” include demographic characteristics, any exposure history, disease severity indicators and outcomes, clinical data, laboratory diagnostic test results, and presence of any underlying medical conditions and risk behaviors. All data elements can be found on the COVID-19 case report form located at
COVID-19 Case Reports
COVID-19 case reports have been routinely submitted using nationally standardized case reporting forms. On April 5, 2020, CSTE released an Interim Position Statement with national surveillance case definitions for COVID-19 included. Current versions of these case definitions are available here:
All cases reported on or after were requested to be shared by public health departments to CDC using the standardized case definitions for laboratory-confirmed or probable cases. On May 5, 2020, the standardized case reporting form was revised. Case reporting using this new form is ongoing among U.S. states and territories.
Data are Considered Provisional
  • The COVID-19 case surveillance data are dynamic; case reports can be modified at any time by the jurisdictions sharing COVID-19 data with CDC. CDC may update prior cases shared with CDC based on any updated information from jurisdictions. For instance, as new information is gathered about previously reported cases, health departments provide updated data to CDC. As more information and data become available, analyses might find changes in surveillance data and trends during a previously reported time window. Data may also be shared late with CDC due to the volume of COVID-19 cases.
  • Annual finalized data: To create the final NNDSS data used in the annual tables, CDC works carefully with the reporting jurisdictions to reconcile the data received during the year until each state or territorial epidemiologist confirms that the data from their area are correct.
  • Access Addressing Gaps in Public Health Reporting of Race and Ethnicity for COVID-19, a report from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, to better understand the challenges in completing race and ethnicity data for COVID-19 and recommendations for improvement.
Data Limitations
To learn more about the limitations in using case surveillance data, visit FAQ: COVID-19 Data and Surveillance.
Data Quality Assurance Procedures
CDC’s Case Surveillance Section routinely performs data quality assurance procedures (i.e., ongoing corrections and logic checks to address data errors). To date, the following data cleaning steps have been implemented:
  • Questions that have been left unanswered (blank) on the case report form are reclassified to a Missing value, if applicable to the question. For example, in the question “Was the individual hospitalized?” where the possible answer choices include “Yes,” “No,” or “Unknown,” the blank value is recoded to Missing because the case report form did not include a response to the question.
  • Logic checks are performed for date data. If an illogical date has been provided, CDC reviews the data with the reporting jurisdiction. For example, if a symptom onset date in the future is reported to CDC, this value is set to null until the reporting jurisdiction updates the date appropriately.
  • Additional data quality processing to recode free text data is ongoing. Data on symptoms, race and ethnicity, and healthcare worker status have been prioritized.
Data Suppression
To prevent release of data that could be used to identify people, data cells are suppressed for low frequency (<5) records and indirect identifiers (e.g., date of first positive specimen). Suppression includes rare combinations of demographic characteristics (sex, age group, race/ethnicity). Suppressed values are re-coded to the NA answer option; records with data suppression are never removed.
For questions, please contact Ask SRRG (
Additional COVID-19 Data
COVID-19 data are available to the public as summary or aggregate count files, including total counts of cases and deaths by state and by county. These and other COVID-19 data are available from multiple public locations: COVID Data Tracker; United States COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by State; COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting Data Systems; and COVID-19 Death Data and Resources.
March 1, 2022: The "COVID-19 Case Surveillance Public Use Data" will be updated on a monthly basis.
April 7, 2022: An adjustment was made to CDC’s cleaning algorithm for COVID-19 line level case notification data. An assumption in CDC's algorithm led to misclassifying deaths that were not COVID-19 related. The algorithm has since been revised, and this dataset update reflects corrected individual level information about death status for all cases collected to date.

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Case Surveillance
covid-19, cases, surveillance, covid, covid19, coronavirus
Row Label
Deidentified Patient
SODA2 Only
Licensing and Attribution
Data Provided By
CDC Data, Analytics and Visualization Task Force
Source Link
Public Domain U.S. Government
Common Core
Contact Name
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Bureau Code
Program Code
Geographic Coverage
Temporal Applicability
Described By
Update Frequency
Data Quality
Suggested Citation
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 Response. COVID-19 Case Surveillance Public Data Access, Summary, and Limitations (version date: April 04, 2024).
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