The Times 

Department of Health changes COVID-19 dashboard

 

January 27, 2022



OLYMPIA—The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) changed how it presents information on its COVID-19 Data Dashboard on January 21. The goal is to display current trends and information that are most applicable to the current phase of the pandemic. DOH is also adjusting the frequency of COVID-19 dashboard updates from daily to three times a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The most visible updates are to the Current Status tab on the dashboard. A new format will focus on three measures necessary for monitoring COVID-19 in Washington, including:

• 7-day case rate,

• 7-day percent hospital occupancy, and

total population fully vaccinated.

• A new tab will display COVID-19 disease activity and hospital occupancy by color-coding to indicate high, substantial, moderate, or low occupancy. 

COVID-19 by Age

The update will include changes in how DOH reports COVID-19 data by age groups. Moving forward, age groups will be standardized on the dashboard using the following categories 0-4, 5-11, 12-17, 18-34, 35-49, 50-64, 65-79, and 80+. 

County-level hospitalizations by age groups will be added to the Demographics tab with two broad age groups: under 65 and 65 and older. The data have been grouped to protect the privacy of Washingtonians in small geographic locations with fewer hospitalizations.

Finally, the 5-11 age group will be added to the dashboard to align with the current immunization age groups.  

Although DOH is changing the format and presentation, historical epidemiological data will continue to be available on the dashboard.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations

DOH will remove the COVID-like Illness Hospitalization tab to reduce confusion over hospitalization data. This data includes not just COVID-19 hospitalizations but any emergency inpatient admissions with fever and respiratory illness complaints. DOH will continue to provide COVID-19 hospitalization data through the case hospitalization data on the Epidemiological Curves and Cumulative Counts tabs and the hospital data on the Healthcare System Readiness tab.

Incomplete Data

The incomplete data periods, indicated by light gray lines on the dashboard graphs, will be removed when displaying calculated measures such as rates or percentages. This change is needed to help Washingtonians focus on the most complete COVID-19 information.

There is no change to how data regarding COVID deaths is displayed.

“These dashboard updates will display data about the pandemic in a way that’s meaningful to the public,” said Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH, Chief Science Officer. “I think they will go a long way in helping us focus on some of the COVID-19 indicators that matter the most to individuals, our community, and our state.”

 

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