Data maps that often go hand in hand with news stories tracking COVID case numbers can be effective at imparting knowledge of case rates, but they do little to change perceived infection risk and opinions toward public health recommendations, finds a research letter published yesterday in JAMA Network Open.

Because of this ambivalence, the researchers recommend that communicators use a per capita map that displays “heat” colors (eg, a color spectrum from white to red) at the state level to illustrate hard-hit regions.


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