According to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, the state’s Covid-19 dashboard will move to updating data weekly beginning next week.
As of Mar. 23, the department noted it will “elevate” different metrics on the summary page, including wastewater surveillance, hospital cases, people coming to the hospital for Covid-like illness, case trends, booster numbers, variant prevalence, and community-level spread.
“Some key metrics reported throughout the pandemic no longer meet the current situation and will no longer be used,” the department noted in a press release.
The change comes as Gov. Roy Cooper and the Coronavirus Task Force briefed media Thursday that it’s changing its approach to addressing the pandemic in a new phase. This will be based on four principles: “prioritizing equity, empowering individuals, maintaining health system capacity, and collaborating with local partners,” according to the release.
Details of the new seven metrics are as follows:
- Wastewater testing can detect and quantify the SARS Co-V-2 virus in community wastewater systems. This testing may be an early indicator of increases in other metrics.
- COVID-like illness in hospital emergency departments is a percentage of total emergency visits. It is also an early indicator of rising cases, and it warns about increasing strain on hospital capacity.
- COVID-19 hospital admissions, when high, can indicate strained capacity at hospitals, which may lead to difficulty caring for people with COVID-19 and for people with non-COVID-19 emergencies or elective procedures.
- COVID-19 reported cases reflect people who have tested positive for COVID-19. This number gives an idea of community transmission, even though it does not reflect all COVID-19 cases.
- Booster rates give an indication of how much of the population is up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, which is one indicator of immunity and protection against severe disease and need for hospital level care. This data is also available at the county level.
- A new variant, and its levels in the state, may cause a shift in the state’s response or in individuals’ choices about layered protection.
- The CDC’s COVID-19 community levels is based on hospital beds in use, hospital admissions and cases. This tool can help people understand COVID-19 spread in their community.
Some data will be moved to interior dashboard pages or to “Data Behind the Dashboards” page, while other numbers will be removed entirely, including:
- North Carolina COVID-19 Metrics from the COVID-19 homepage at covid19.ncdhhs.gov. Data on key metrics will be tracked weekly on the Summary page of the NCDHHS COVID-19 Dashboard
- County Transmission Data; instead, it will be redirected to the CDC’s Covid-19 Community Levels data and tracked weekly.
- The Contact Tracing webpage, including data on Contact Tracers Hired
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