Legislation

State and federal legislation related to COVID-19 is curated by members of the FiscalNote Professional Services team using the FiscalNote platform. Legislation is identified as potentially relevant using FiscalNote’s automated legislative search to perform text analysis on newly introduced bills with a set of keywords pertaining to COVID-19. We then review each bill, verified relevance, and composed a summary of the applicable provisions or policies. Bills are categorized by their current status: enacted bills or proposed bills. Proposed bills include any bills that have been introduced or are progressing through various legislative status, such as voting in a given legislative chamber. Enacted bills have been voted on and passed into law. This data is updated on a rolling basis each day, as information becomes available.

Appropriations

Appropriations data is compiled as the FiscalNote team reviews relevant COVID-19 bills, noting if provisions in the bills appropriated any specific funds to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The team compiles appropriations data into two categories: enacted appropriations and proposed appropriations. Proposed appropriations is based on proposed bills, which have not yet been enacted. Enacted appropriations is based on when the given bill moves to enacted status. Many bills with proposed appropriations will not pass because either a similar bill from another chamber or a larger legislative package is enacted. This data is updated on a rolling basis each day, as information becomes available.

Sessions

The schedules of many legislative sessions are affected by COVID-19. The sessions data includes all session extensions, temporary adjournments, special sessions, or plans to continue to meet as scheduled related to the COVID-19 outbreak. A session status is noted as either Convened (in session) or Adjourned (out of session). We also note if either status was due to COVID-19, which means the session status was either convened or adjourned as part of a coordinated legislative response to the outbreak. If the session status is unrelated to COVID-19, it is noted as scheduled. States which adjourned sine die will be shown as “adjourned, as scheduled” on the map visualization. Expected reconvene dates are included only when specifically cited in source material. Exceptional situations, such as differing schedules between houses, are described in the summary field.

Elections

Many states have decided that COVID-19 makes in-person voting too dangerous and delayed elections scheduled for this spring or shifted to predominantly voting by mail to comply with social distancing recommendations. Our elections map showcases the current status of congressional primaries. If a state changed the date of the original election, or modified how the election will be conducted, it is marked as modified due to COVID-19. The scheduled date for the election can be seen by clicking on a given state in the map.Our CQ Roll Call reporters are tracking the latest announcements from state governments regarding elections, which you can find on our Roll Call Coronavirus news page as well as our At the Races newsletter.

Social distancing

Our data incorporates efforts by officials to implement various policies for social distancing, including states of emergency, statewide gathering bans, stay at home orders, statewide school closures, and restaurant/bar closures as issued by state and federal governments. Links are provided in the visualization pop-ups directing to the official announcements if available. The state of emergency and gatherings ban are the only applicable policies for the U.S. Federal government. Gathering bans that are noted as “Guidance” indicate that the governing body has issued a recommendation that is not an enforceable ban. Stay at home orders are noted as “Partial” if those orders do not apply statewide, such as stay at home orders that have been issued by municipal governments or the state government has issued the order to select counties within the state.

Cases

We report data for COVID-19 cases, deaths, and recoveries, sourced from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (JHU CSSE) COVID-19 GitHub, which aggregates country, state, and county data from various sources. This data is updated by the Hopkins team once daily around 23:59 (UTC), and as such, our numbers will usually reflect data from the previous day. Our visualizations report five metrics: total confirmed cases, deaths, recoveries, active cases, and new cases, which are further defined below.

Total confirmed cases. The cumulative number of known confirmed COVID-19 cases as determined by laboratory testing, including presumptive positives. Due to limitations in testing, the true total number of COVID-19 cases is difficult to estimate and is most likely higher than the number of known confirmed cases.

Deaths. The number of people whose cause of death has been attributed to COVID-19. Because the cause of death can only be attributed to COVID-19 when there has first been a confirmed positive test, the true number of deaths due to COVID-19 are most likely under-reported.

Recoveries (World cases only). The number of people who had a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have now recovered. On March 22nd 2020, JHU CSSE deprecated their reporting of recoveries for US states and counties, citing there was no uniform method for reliably reporting recoveries. Therefore, we can only report recoveries and active cases at the country level (as seen only on our World Cases map). The CDC guidelines for recovery are stated with their guidance on determining the discontinuation of home isolation.

Active cases (World cases only). The number of people currently infected with COVID-19, calculated by the cumulative total cases minus deaths and recoveries.

New cases. The latest daily number of confirmed cases, calculated from the latest date’s cumulative total of cases minus the previous date’s cumulative total.

For more information on how the JHU CSSE team is collecting and validating this data, visit their FAQ page.

Europe

Our Europe page visualizes a map of COVID-19 cases data for European countries. The cases data is described in the Cases section above. The content in the Latest Policy Updates section is sourced on a daily basis by the FiscalNote EU Issue Tracker (EUIT) team from 33 total European government websites (28 EU member states plus 5 non-EU). Each article is shown with a custom-written summary based on our team’s analysis of the article, as well as a link to the official announcement. Our team categorizes each article based on its content into one of five categories: Health, Travel, Economy, Social, Procedural, which are defined below.

Health. Measures directly relating to healthcare.

Travel. Measures that put restrictions on travel (primarily international).

Economy. Measures taken to protect the economy. Examples include changes to sick pay policy; government providing tax reporting holidays.

Social. Measures taken that aim to change society’s daily function or help mitigate the social impact of crisis.

Procedural. Measures that change government or judicial procedure. Examples include the government allowing Magistrates to pass judgment remotely; governments will permit electronic voting.

Social Media

Our Social Media Monitoring page displays Twitter updates related to COVID-19 from state and federal legislators, governors, and the President. We take these tweets and then link them to our FiscalNote legislator and official people profiles in order to provide information on the official’s jurisdiction and political party. Tweets are determined to be related to COVID-19 based on a curated list of relevant issue-specific keywords, which is monitored and updated by our Data Science team based on trends in language over time. The text of tweets is also analyzed against our custom FiscalNote Topics Hierarchy Engine to tag each tweet with relevant topic areas, which is used to discover topic trends over time.