Western Carolina University has updated its recently launched online COVID-19 dashboard to include additional information about testing, positivity rates, isolation and quarantine and to provide a more in-depth look at how the pandemic is affecting the campus community.
The changes, effective Monday, Aug. 24, were made as a result of an increase in the availability of data and to improve transparency to the campus community based on feedback from dashboard users, said Melissa C. Wargo, WCU chief of staff.
“We want to be open and transparent about the impact of the pandemic on our university community,” Wargo said. “We rolled out our initial dashboard on Aug. 7, before the first day of classes. Since then, we have worked with offices on campus and with the University of North Carolina System office to define and access more information about WCU’s COVID activity. We think the changes that we have made will make for a more robust, easily understood tool.”
The initial dashboard listed current daily case counts, broken into separate categories for students and employee numbers, and a cumulative tally of positive cases since July 1. That daily case count would include any new cases since the prior day’s count, as identified either through testing in University Health Services or by self-report, and the previous day’s number then would roll into the cumulative case count, said Pam Buchanan, health services director.
In addition to a daily count for new positive cases and a cumulative count of cases going back to July 1, the updated dashboard includes a weekly count of new confirmed positive cases, information about the number of tests administered and a weekly positivity rate. The revamped dashboard now includes cases involving subcontractors (in addition to employees and students). The site also has a section providing information about the number of isolation or quarantine spaces in use.
The dashboard can be found at https://www.wcu.edu/coronavirus/reporting.aspx.