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All corona cases in the districts, federal states and worldwide

Here we make it transparent where the information in this article comes from. If you find errors or know better real-time data sources, please send us an email to [email protected]

Number of cases in the rural districts and urban districts

The case numbers in the counties and urban districts come from the respective websites of the counties as well as other official sources from the region, which update them at different intervals. Risklayer and the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) collect these together with the Tagesspiegel Innovation Lab.

In the course of the pandemic, there are repeated corrections in many counties. This can even lead to the total number of reported cases in these counties falling again. So it can turn out that those who have been tested are registered in another district. Technical or human errors in the administrative districts can also be the reason for such corrections.

Over time, the method of collection or reporting for corona cases has also changed frequently. For example, some districts have occasionally reported sick people who have all symptoms of Covid-19 and have had contact with a person who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, but were not tested themselves. The state authorities and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), on the other hand, do not count these cases as Covid-19 sufferers. Some of the municipal health authorities have therefore retrospectively adjusted their case numbers to the criteria of the state authorities, but not corrected them retrospectively.

The differences in the numbers that result from this are very significant in some regions, such as in District of Mettmann in North Rhine-Westphalia. There, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia has decided to make the counting method uniform in all districts. From now on, only laboratory-confirmed cases should be allowed to be reported. In Mettmann on April 20, 2020, there was a difference of 216 cases to the previous number of cases. "We would have much preferred to be able to stick to our differentiated presentation," explains the head of the health department there, Rudolf Lange. "Taking the cases clearly diagnosed from the epidemiological context out of consideration, hides their existence or banishes them to the unreported area."

The situation is similar in the City of Munich: According to its own information, there was a software change by the health department there on June 6, 2020, which only allows people who have been tested to be reported as Covid-19 sufferers. In the course of this change, the local health authority checked its case numbers and corrected them downwards. Sick people who showed symptoms and had contact with a sick person but were not tested were also excluded. According to the health authority, other reasons were double counting and relocations of asylum seekers.

Also the Weissenburg-Gunzenhausen district corrected its number of cases down by 55 cases on June 8, 2020. The reason given here is also a software change in the health authorities. Now only laboratory-confirmed cases are reported. The district has removed the epidemiological cases from the statistics.

If a district also corrects these figures in the historical data from the days before, we apply the corrections. If these subsequent corrections are not available, the number of cases in our presentations decrease on certain days in order to show transparently that there have been changes in the reporting of the regions. We do not take these corrections by the authorities into account when calculating the new infections.

In many counties, however, these so-called "epidemiological cases" are still included in the statistics. Since these cases are counted by the health authorities, but not by the RKI, it may be that the total number of cases reported by the district is permanently higher than the cases reported by the RKI. Unfortunately, there is still no clear, unambiguous nationwide regulation for this.

In order to get the numbers even more up-to-date and reliable, we are looking for more volunteers who would like to take part in the research. If you would like to take part in improving this real-time database, send us an email to [email protected]

Number of cases in the German federal states

We calculate the number of cases in the federal states from the information provided by the individual districts and urban districts. These can differ from the RKI figures. Since the districts often first transmit their figures to the state authorities, which then report them to the RKI, there can be a delay of a few days in some cases.

Worldwide case numbers

Global data on infection cases are compiled from a variety of sources by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and visualized on a separate dashboard. We automatically obtain the data at regular intervals from the Github project, where the university offers the data for download. They are updated at irregular intervals. There may be delays until different countries have confirmed their cases and then passed them on. For France, we are currently using the official information from the French Ministry of Health.

Information on those who have recovered

The information on recovered persons is not required to be reported in Germany. Nevertheless, the majority of the districts publish figures on their websites. These are also shown on our map for the corresponding districts.

In some rural and urban districts, a joint health department is responsible for both districts. Some district administrations therefore only give a total number of those recovered in the city and district. In these cases, we display the number of recovered people that the RKI states for this district. If a district does not report the number of people who have recovered, we also display the RKI numbers there.

We use the information from the RKI for the information on those who have recovered per federal state and for Germany as a whole. There may be deviations in the information on active cases at the state and federal level of the RKI. We will only be able to solve this problem when all districts cleanly report the people who have already recovered from Covid-19.

Details of the deceased

The reported number of deaths includes, on the one hand, those patients who died directly from the disease Covid-19. On the other hand, the information from the districts also includes people who had underlying illnesses and died with Covid-19, but for whom it cannot be clearly proven what the exact cause of death was. So far, only very few districts differentiate between “to” and “with” Covid deaths, so we display the number of those who have died with Covid-19, as recorded by the Robert Koch Institute.

Limitations of the data

Overall, how reliable these numbers are depends on many factors. For example, how quickly those affected go to the doctor, whether the virus is detected or how and when it is reported by the official bodies.

It can be assumed that the actual number of infected people is unknown, since, according to current knowledge, people can only have very mild symptoms even though they are infected with the virus. All details are therefore to be regarded as approximate values. Nevertheless, they give a significant impression of how the situation is developing in different parts of Germany and around the world.

Information on test numbers and test positive rates

The RKI publishes every Wednesday how many tests were carried out in a week and how many of those tested carried the virus. The count is per test, not per person: if someone is tested twice, the number of tests carried out increases by two. In addition, the laboratories can register tests afterwards. Then the number of tests increases in retrospect.

Information on intensive care beds

The number of intensive care beds currently occupied comes from the “DIVI intensive care register”. All hospitals must report their intensive care capacities by 12 noon every day. You tell the registry how many of the intensive care beds are currently occupied. They have been legally obliged to do so since mid-April. The Intensive Register project points out that the underlying group of COVID-19 intensive care patients changes from day to day due to transfers and new admissions, while the number of cases may remain the same. Since April 16, reporting to the registry has been mandatory for all clinics with an intensive care unit. Not every intensive care bed is occupied by a Covid 19 patient. It can be people with heart problems or a stroke, but also people who have had a serious accident.

Which capacities the register reports

The information provided by DIVI on capacities also includes children's intensive care beds - in mid-November it was around 10 percent. These beds can only be used for children, but so far only five children with Corona have been in the intensive care unit in Germany. For the assessment of the intensive capacities, only the adult places are decisive. Since August 3, the hospitals have not only reported the existing beds, but also the emergency reserves of intensive care beds, which can be activated within seven days. However, nursing staff can also contract Corona or have to be quarantined. Then beds fall away - 2.5 per carer who cannot be replaced. The DIVI intensive care register is a joint project of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, DIVI for short, and the RKI, financed by the Federal Ministry of Health.


We continuously read data analyzes on COVID-19 from around the world and try to think further about the best analyzes and representations. We have collected some analyzes and visualizations worldwide on the coronavirus here, here and here.

For the presentation of the map of Germany in this article, we were inspired by articles from Zeit Online, the New York Times, Funke Interaktiv and numerous other visualizations.