The tracker gives elected representatives and their constituents precise information about COVID’s spread in their district. In Texas, for example, a graph reflecting infection by county gives the initial impression that west Texas is doing better than east Texas. When broken down by congressional district, however, the northwestern and southwestern parts of the state actually have the greatest number of COVID cases. The two districts with the most cases “are not even geographically close to the counties with the highest number of cases (Harris County and Dallas County),” said Weixing Zhang of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies.

“We’ve heard from many Congressional members that they want to have a better understanding of the disease’s spread in their districts, and so do their constituents,” said Kahan. “The data will be key for policymakers to create policies to ensure safer communities, and allow the public to see the progress we are making together.”