I’m Betsy Ladyzhets, an independent science, health, and data journalist currently focused on tracking the pandemic. I run the COVID-19 Data Dispatch, a publication that provides news, resources, and original reporting on COVID-19 data sources. I’m also a (part-time) journalism fellow at Documenting COVID-19, a project that obtains, publishes, and reports on COVID-related public records, housed at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation and MuckRock.

Previously, I worked as a data journalist at Stacker and volunteered for the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic. My freelance work has appeared in Science News, MIT Technology Review, FiveThirtyEight, The Open Notebookand other national publications.

More clips | More about me | COVID-19 Data Dispatch | Work with me

The U.S. Still Doesn’t Know How To Track A Pandemic

This retrospective piece walks through the metrics that the U.S. has attempted to use for tracking COVID-19 over the last two years, and how the country’s fractured public health system doomed each one.

Idaho COVID-19 surge drove patient transfers, strained out-of-state hospitals, new data shows

The Delta wave in Idaho overwhelmed hospitals in the state and led to record patient transfers. This story, a collaboration between the Idaho Capital Sun and Documenting COVID-19, discusses the surge as a case study of the U.S.’s decentralized hospital system.

Here’s why Utah’s COVID-19 testing in schools went from national model to abandoned failure

A K-12 COVID-19 testing program originally pioneered in Utah failed to prevent transmission in schools during the fall 2021 semester, after it was neutered by the state legislature. This story was a collaboration between the Salt Lake Tribune and Documenting COVID-19.

Why You Can’t See The Most Important Omicron Hot Spots In The U.S. On A Map

As Omicron surges everywhere in the U.S. at once, it’s hard to identify the most important hot spots: in other words, those among the people most vulnerable to severe disease and most capable of shutting down society.

How schools that kept Covid cases low are battling new variants

School districts that successfully brought students back while keeping COVID-19 cases low in the 2020-2021 school year faced a new set of challenges in fall 2021, ranging from tricky quarantine policies to staff burnout.

Missouri allocated $11M for vaccine gift cards. Most health departments said no thanks

Missouri officials lobbied the CDC for additional funding to distribute gift cards to residents who got vaccinated, but only 20 out of 115 eligible local health departments opted into the program. This project was a collaboration between the Missouri Independent and Documenting COVID-19.