13:52 PM

University updates top-rated COVID-19 dashboard

Enhancements include significantly expanded available testing data

The Ohio State University’s COVID-19 dashboard, which provides a regularly updated status on the virus across Ohio and within the campus community, has been enhanced to make it more user-friendly while offering a complete picture of cases and positivity rates dating back to the beginning of the university’s testing program.

With this new version of the dashboard, users will be able to view the data going back to the 2020 fall semester as well as the most up-to-date numbers for the 2021 spring semester. The previous version showed the most recent 20 days of testing data. Ohio State’s COVID-19 dashboard has been recognized by “We Rate Covid Dashboards” with an A+ grade.

“Users, for example, can still get to the various testing results by single day, seven-day average and cumulative for both students and employees by using the available filters. New with this version, users can view information compared over a significantly longer period of time,” said Eric Mayberry, director of data and analytics in Ohio State’s Office of the Chief Information Officer and a creator of Ohio State’s dashboard.

“The idea is to increase transparency by giving the campus community and the public additional data points as well as perspective on the prevalence of the virus at Ohio State. It is important to see how the university community’s efforts to slow the spread have fared.”

At this point early in the spring semester – students returned to some in-person classes beginning Jan. 25 following two weeks of online-only instruction – the dashboard shows seven-day average positivity rates for students holding steady at below 1%. Shortly after classes began in the fall semester, the positivity rate was nearly 6%.

The dashboard will continue to provide key measures for the state of Ohio, including daily cases (also available by county) and hospital capacity, along with Ohio State student testing data for all students, on-campus students and off-campus students plus cumulative employee test data. Since surveillance testing began on Aug. 14, the university has conducted more than 350,000 student tests and almost 25,000 employee tests.

The enhanced dashboard also continues to report information about isolation and quarantine bed usage, capacity and availability. Information on PPE safety kits and enhanced cleaning measures in campus facilities have been moved to the text portion of the dashboard page. Information is also available on the Campus Readiness page of the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

Leanne Stanley, a consulting research statistician in the Office of Strategic and Competitive Intelligence, created the dashboard with Mayberry and Henry Zheng, associate vice president for strategic analytics. They collaborated with a team of Ohio State public health, technology and analytics experts, with guidance from university leaders.

The team said the next potential update to the dashboard will be vaccination data for the state of Ohio as well as the university.

A panel of experts continuously monitors the most recent data on COVID-19 infections and transmission factors. In the fall, the university’s Comprehensive Monitoring Team (CMT) issued its initial report on ongoing data analysis designed to stem the spread of infection on and around the Columbus and regional campuses.

“It is possible to drive infection down with an infusion of determined university leadership, resources, and effort through close monitoring and focused intervention,” the CMT concluded in the report.

“The data included in the dashboard are part of the robust toolkit we use to continuously monitor COVID-19 and make informed decisions,” said Ohio State College of Public Health Dean Amy Fairchild, who leads the CMT. “Testing information is a powerful tool – along with wearing masks, physically distancing and practicing good hygiene – in the fight against the spread of the virus.”

For more information on Ohio State’s response to COVID-19, visit the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

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