Documenting COVID-19

Documenting COVID-19 is a repository of searchable documents related to the COVID-19 pandemic obtained through state open-records laws and the Freedom of Information Act. Click on a state for details about the 76 document sets available as of August 12, 2020, and news coverage that have used those materials.

Do you need help with COVID-19 public records, want to collaborate with us or want to contribute records you've obtained? Subscribe, follow us on Twitter and email us at

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Data from The New York Times, based on reports from state and local health agencies. View their tracking page here.

Recently Added Record Sets

Port of San Diego, California

Date Updated: August 12, 2020

Date Added: August 12, 2020

Santa Clara County, San Diego, San Francisco, California

Principal Subject: This material includes emails and newsletters across San Francisco, Bay Area, and Santa Clara

These documents include emails sent to, from, or copied to Randa Coniglio, Chief Executive Officer of Port of San Diego

Date Range: April 7, 2020, to May 5, 2020

Format Details: PDF, 1,332 pages

West Virginia Health COVID-19 emails and response

Date Updated: August 10, 2020

Date Added: August 10, 2020

Department of Health and Human Resources, West Virginia

Principal Subject: Bill J. Crouch, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

This material includes email correspondence, and underlying documentation contained within, between Jan. 1, 2020, and March 31, 2020, that was sent to, from, or copied to Bill J. Crouch, containing any of the following non-case sensitive key-strings: "2019-nCoV"; "coronavirus"; "COVID-19"; "COVID"

Date Range: March 2020

Format Details: PDF, 316 pages, additional zipped files including ppt, doc and xls files

Mecklenburg County Health Department COVID-19 emails and response

Date Updated: August 6, 2020

Date Added: August 6, 2020

Mecklenburg, North Carolina

Principal Subject: Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris

These documents include emails sent from, to or copied to Public Health Director Gibbie Harris regarding local response to COVID-19.

Date Range: May 1 to June 25, 2020

Format Details: .pdf (56.5MB, 1508 pages)

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August 11, 2020
NC Watchdog Reporting Network
By Ames Alexander of the Charlotte Observer; Aaron Sánchez-Guerra, Jordan Schrader and Lucille Sherman of The News & Observer; Nick Ochsner of WBTV; Emily Featherston of WECT; Tyler Dukes of WRAL; Jason deBruyn of WUNC; and Frank Taylor of Carolina Public Press

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"Documenting COVID-19 project at The Brown Institute for Media Innovation."

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The information on this site is available for use with attribution under a Creative Commons license, Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0), with two additional disclaimers described below. Please read through and click accept before accessing Documenting COVID-19.

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As this site relies on public records obtained through state and federal open-records laws, we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the underlying data or documents. It may contain errors and omissions.

Public records may include personal information, which is sometimes redacted and sometimes not. However, we cannot ensure that all personal information is redacted from all materials.

If you accept both the license requirements regarding use and attribution and the two disclaimers regarding potential errors, omissions and privacy, click below to enter Documenting COVID-19.

Documenting COVID-19 is a collaborative open-records project started at Columbia University's Brown Institute for Media Innovation to host local, state and federal document sets related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It combines documents requested by the Brown Institute and other newsrooms and journalists. Additional funding for this project comes from FRONTLINE PBS, Columbia Journalism School's Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, the Fund for Investigative Journalism and National Geographic.

The Brown Institute
Documenting Covid-19