The Washington Post and the Yale School of Public Health today announced a partnership to form the Covid Counting Consortium (3C) to research and report on the impact of covid-19. Journalists, engineers and data scientists from The Post will collaborate with a group from Yale’s Public Health Modeling Unit that also includes experts from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Roskilde University, and Aledade to analyze data from a variety of sources. Legacy.com has also agreed to provide obituary data for reporting purposes.

“The United States leads the world in coronavirus diagnoses and casualties with the death toll surpassing 50,000 in recent days. Data from U.S. health systems is beginning to unspool the full story of the coronavirus’ impact and we hope this partnership can shed more light on the true extent of the virus’ effect,” said Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, managing editor for digital at The Washington Post. “This work will complement The Post’s narrative storytelling, which continues to seek ways to spotlight survivors and victims of a virus that has permeated American life to a depth not experienced in generations.”

Among the group’s initial tasks will be investigating how revised case and death totals could change our understanding of the virus. The consortium will use data modeling to examine the gap in officially reported cases and those likely coded as other diseases, employing the data for reporting purposes and in graphics and other visuals to help readers better understand the impact of the virus.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with The Washington Post to help bring rigorous quantitative analysis to the complicated task of interpreting complex public health data. Along with public health and modeling experts from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Roskilde University, and Aledade, we look forward to contributing to the Post’s reporting on this important topic.”, says Dan Weinberger, associate professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health.

The Post today published the first story to come out of this collaboration— U.S. deaths soared in early weeks of pandemic, far exceeding number attributed to covid-19— looking at the overall death rates in seven states with high covid-19 deaths and also an unusually high rate of death in diseases that present similarly, like influenza and pneumonia.