CSUN Professor Creates Map to Track COVID-19 in Every County in U.S.

People curious about how the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is spreading in their state can now check an interactive map created by a Cal State Northridge professor, the university announced today.

California State University, Northridge geography professor Steven Graves has created several interactive maps that track COVID-19's progress county-by-county nationwide and one that's even more granular and tracks the virus's progress neighborhood by neighborhood in Los Angeles County.

The maps use data fetched from the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University.

Graves said he got the idea for a new type of map after seeing one that just featured big red dots on states that have outbreaks.

“That doesn’t really tell me anything,” Graves said. “We have more than 10 million people here in Los Angeles County. Up in Alpine County, there are only about 1,200 people. That’s a big difference,” he said. “That big red blob doesn’t tell me if the number of cases has grown in Sonoma County, L.A. County or in Chico. Yes, it’s a red growing dot, but it doesn’t allow you to zoom in on your own location, or put what you’re seeing in context.”

The map also includes the population of each county, which helps put numbers of positive cases of COVID-19 into context.

“It’s one thing to report the numbers, but if there is no context, they really don’t mean anything,” Graves said, adding that reports of a couple hundred confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a county with a population in the millions mean something different than a dozen reported cases in a county with a population of less than 100,000.

You can check out the map for yourself and see how the virus is spreading in your county and state here.

Photo: Cal State Northridge

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