The team is expanding a comprehensive, publicly available COVID-19 U.S. State Policy database – CUSP. The CUSP database is free to access and documents the dates of health and social policies in the wake of COVID-19 and its economic ramifications in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The researchers will continue to expand the database to track COVID-19 social safety net policies and health care policies. The database will help inform health and social policy decisions that promote a culture of health and rapid response policy research with a focus on policies that affect vulnerable populations.
*It’s atypical for E4A to fund database development as an independent research activity, but in the wake of COVID-19 there was a compelling case that the CUSP database provides an important public benefit by facilitating rapid research and policy action that can support population health and equity.
The CUSP database will allow for evaluation of how state policy responses to COVID-19 shape outcomes such as COVID-19 cases and deaths and financial distress, food insecurity, housing insecurity, and mental distress, particularly for populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and its economic ramifications.
The CUSP research team has the following process for tracking each policy change: 1) search government websites for executive orders and directives pertaining to the specific policy; 2) search for media coverage of each policy in each state; 3) compare to a complementary state tracking effort through media or non-profit organizations to validate policy changes, if possible; 4) double check each date and states with no policy changes; 5) post to publicly available database with comments on coding decisions; 6) invite comments through the publicly available database and publicly document any revisions.