Amid the pandemic, COVID-19 dashboards strive to offer people reliable information and a sense of agency when making their critical decisions.
In response to community input, The University of Texas at Austin is taking steps to make its dashboard even more useful by adding more detailed information across several new categories.
UT Austin launched its COVID-19 dashboard July 3 — one of the first institutions of higher education to do so. The dashboard was created as an accessible view of the coronavirus impact for all stakeholders and the Austin community. From the start, it has offered a comprehensive view of data, including case counts for community members who are working or learning remotely.
A cross-campus task force manages the dashboard. Its members continually assess how it meets this important goal and listen to students, faculty members, staff members and families to learn what changes would be most useful.
“Based on feedback we have received, we have updated this dashboard to include additional data points meant to provide meaningful context and transparency related to the presence of COVID-19 on the UT community,” says Dr. Terrance Hines, executive director and chief medical officer of University Health Services (UHS).
On Sept. 30, UT Austin launched an updated COVID-19 dashboard with the following changes:
- Dynamic Date Range Slider
Ability to filter the date range on the daily case bar chart and cumulative total case counts.
- Testing Sources for Cumulative Cases
The new dashboard shows the breakdown of cumulative total cases by the source of the test results: clinical testing of symptomatic individuals and asymptomatic contacts, proactive community testing, self-reports and Austin Public Health (APH) reports.
- Estimated Active Cases
A case is included in the estimated active case counts for 10 days after the date of the symptom onset. If a symptom onset date is not available for a given case, date of testing is used as a proxy.
- Semester Total Cumulative Cases
Cumulative case counts since the first day of classes (Aug. 26, 2020).
- Cumulative 7-day Moving Average
Addition of 7-day moving average for new cases on the cumulative case bar chart. The average is displayed as a grey curve on the graph with numeric results displayed on mouseover.
- Expanded Proactive Community Testing (PCT) Summary with Positivity Rates
Charts include daily and weekly total positive PCT tests for students and faculty/staff, and 7-day moving average positivity rates.
- UT Austin Clinical Testing Summary with Positivity Rates
Charts include daily and weekly total positive tests from all clinical testing done at University Health Services (UHS) and UT Health Austin (UTHA), and 7-day moving average positivity rates.
The UT COVID-19 Test Results Dashboard is the result of collaborative efforts by UHS, UTHA, APH, Occupational Health Program (OHP), Dell Medical School and High-Throughput Testing Core (HTTC) in the Center for Biomedical Research Support (CBRS). These multiple data sources feed into the dashboard, which is updated nightly. All efforts are made to report the most accurate reflection of what the university knows about the confirmed cases, which may result in reporting delays or retroactive adjustments.
“Providing clear, accurate and transparent data is critical for sound decision making by public health professionals and campus leaders,” says Chris Brownson, associate vice president for student affairs and director of the Counseling and Mental Health Center. “The additional information in this dashboard will help our entire community better understand key data related to COVID-19 at UT Austin.”
For a more detailed look at the new dashboard, go to coronavirus.utexas.edu/ut-austin-covid-19-dashboard.