Data on COVID-19 is imperfect. States are tracking it in different ways. The availability of testing has been different in different places. Not everyone with the virus becomes symptomatic enough to realize they should be tested. And not everyone who has died received a test.
Still, one of the most pressing questions is, "Are cases increasing or decreasing?" Given the imperfections in the data we have, it is difficult to answer that question with certainty. But we can share what we do have. This table and these graphs will update daily with numbers compiled by the New York Times. They show levels of new cases and deaths for various regions in Missouri and Illinois.
The first set of graphs focuses on how Missouri's two major population centers have experienced the pandemic, in contrast to the rest of the state. They show trends for the St. Louis and Kansas City bi-state regions, as well what Missouri as a whole would look like if you exclude those densely populated areas.
The second set of graphs compares Missouri and Illinois.
Again, these numbers don't tell a complete story in themselves. An increase in testing might correspond with an increase in new cases being reported, even when the actual rate of people being infected with the virus remains steady. Localized outbreaks that show as peaks on the graph don't necessarily mean the virus is spreading out of control. But, combined with our other reporting on this pandemic and its effects on our region, these numbers can help you be more informed about what's happening.
Are coronavirus cases decreasing?
Follow Brent on Twitter: @brentajones
Our priority is you. Support coverage that’s reliable, trustworthy and more essential than ever. Donate today.
Send questions and comments about this story to email@example.com