China’s COVID-19 cases on the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center may appear to decline significantly after Dec. 14, 2022 due to the nation’s decision to stop reporting infections that it calls “asymptomatic.”
The National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China stated in a Dec. 14 online daily briefing that “it’s impossible to get accurate statistics for asymptomatic cases given the fact that many asymptomatic cases choose not to take nucleic acid tests,” which are voluntary.
“Therefore, starting from Dec 14, 2022, statistics for asymptomatic cases will no longer be released,” the Chinese government announced.
China defines asymptomatic cases as those that register positive results but that are not accompanied by COVID-19's most common symptoms.
The Coronavirus Resource Center has notified its data users about the Dec. 14 decision to cease reporting asymptomatic cases just as it notified them of China’s decision earlier this year to start reporting such infections.
When China released asymptomatic data in March 2022, Johns Hopkins researchers added the newly reported cases across daily reports dating back to March 2020.
The CRC stopped reporting asymptomatic cases in China's daily reports on Dec. 14. But the total number of asymptomatic cases that China has reported – 1,521,800 – will remain part of the nation’s cumulative total number of cases.
Reduced counts in U.S. cases and deaths are the result of states and territories not reporting the information for some or all of the weekend. Those states and territories are: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Typically, these states' Monday updates include the weekend totals.