Quick Reference Guide

Quick Reference Guide

Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Hospitalizations Application Quick Reference Guide

Updated Mar. 30, 2020

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This Quick Reference Guide provides guidance on using the COVID-NET interactive web application and gives an overview of the COVID-19-associated hospitalization surveillance network (COVID-NET).

The COVID-NET interactive web application is part of the CDC COVIDView report, which provides a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators being adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. This includes information related to COVID-19 outpatient visits, emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths, as well as laboratory data. COVIDView was developed to address CDC’s priorities regarding enhanced communication with clinicians, scientists, and the general public.

About the Data

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) conducts population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations in children (persons younger than 18 years) and adults. The current network covers nearly 100 counties in the 10 Emerging Infections Program (EIP) states (CA, CO, CT, GA, MD, MN, NM, NY, OR, and TN) and four additional states through the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Project (IA, MI, OH, and UT). The network represents approximately 10% of US population (~32 million people).

EIP has conducted ongoing population-based influenza hospitalization surveillance since the 2003-2004 season and respiratory syncytial virus surveillance since the 2014–2015 season. The Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Project (IHSP) began during the 2009–2010 season to enhance surveillance during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

Cases are identified by reviewing hospital, laboratory, and admission databases and infection control logs for patients hospitalized with a documented positive SARS-CoV-2 test.

Data gathered are used to estimate age-specific hospitalization rates on a weekly basis and describe characteristics of persons hospitalized with COVID-19. Laboratory confirmation is dependent on clinician-ordered SARS-CoV-2 testing. Therefore, the rates provided are likely to be underestimated as COVID-19-associated hospitalizations can be missed due to test availability and provider or facility testing practices.

Note: COVID-NET hospitalization data are preliminary and subject to change as more data become available.

Accessing the COVID-NET Web-based Application

The COVID-NET application is accessible by the public on the World Wide Web. To access the COVID-NET laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations web application, you will first need to open a web browser on your computer and go the following internet link.

The screenshot below contains preliminary data that is subject to change. This is an example of the appearance of the interactive web application.


Application requirements:

  • Preferred browsers are Google Chrome, Edge, Safari or Mozilla Firefox.
  • Internet Explorer 11 is supported, but not a preferred browser due to decreased functionality and visualization of the interactive web application.

Once the website is loaded, a disclaimer dialog box will appear. Please review the disclaimer for important reference information. Click “Ok” to continue the COVID-NET web application. Clicking on Cancel will take you to the “CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Cases in U.S.

Application Functions and Tool Overview

Above is an image of the default view of the laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations web application. This interactive tool allows users to display and query information about laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations by age group. The descriptions for each tool function are listed below.

  1. Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19-Associated Hospitalizations Graph – This chart displays the cumulative and weekly rates per 100,000 population of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations by age group(s).
  2. Zoom/Info Tool – To see detailed information on the chart line, use your mouse to hover over a point on a line. If lines are overlapping, the tool will display information for all the overlapping points. To zoom in on a particular area of the graph, press the Alt key hold down your mouse and drag a box around the area of interest. To reset the zoom, double click within the chart area.
  3. Display By – A single click on the drop-down menu will reveal the listing of either cumulative rate or weekly rate. Cumulative Rate will display the preliminary cumulative crude incidence rates for the selected surveillance area and/or age group. Weekly Rate will display the preliminary weekly crude incidence rates for the selected surveillance area and/or age group.
  4. Surveillance Area – A single click on the drop-down menu will reveal the listing of the surveillance networks. To select a specific area, select a state or a surveillance area network. The networks are the COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) (which is the EIP and IHSP surveillance networks combined), Emerging Infections Program (EIP) only, and Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Project (IHSP) only.
  5. COVID-19 Week Slider Bar – Data is displayed by MMWR week. The MMWR week is the week of the year that local or state health departments use for disease incidence reporting and publishing. Values for MMWR week range from 1–53, although most years consist of 52 weeks. To see data for a specific MMWR week, use the cursor to move slider button across the week numbers. A grey line will be displayed on the chart(s) to indicate the location of the selected MMWR week on each chart. The step push buttons with green and white arrow icons can also be used to move the slider from week to week.
  6. Show Data Window Selection – Select the “Show Data Window” to display the data at each selected point along the slider.
  7. Download Image Button – To create a static image of the data displayed in your current view, click the “Download Image” push button. A file download dialog will appear with options to save, or discard (cancel) the currently displayed chart(s).
  8. Download Data Button – To create a copy of the data in your current view or to create your own custom dataset, click the “Download Data” push button. The Download Data dialog will appear with two options: download the data as shown in the graph (by selecting the first radio button) or create a custom download (by selecting the second radio). Custom downloads allow you to select the Surveillance Area and Age Group for which you would like to see the data. Once the data selection has been made, click the Download Data push button to save or discard the Microsoft Excel file.
  9. Interactive Legend – The interactive legend is enabled by a series of check marks. Check marks appear next to the selected options and will be displayed as lines on the graph.
  10. Help – The help menu provides a detailed overview and describes the full functionality of the COVID-NET Web application.