The Ohio State University has updated its COVID-19 dashboard to improve the user experience while also offering a complete picture of cases and positivity rates dating back to the beginning of the university’s testing program.

In a statement, OSU said the latest update to the dashboard will allow users to view the school’s COVID 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 only showed the most recent 20 days of testing data.

“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,” Eric Mayberry, director of data and analytics in OSU’s Office of the CIO and a creator of Ohio State’s dashboard, said. “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.”

Tracking data is key for OSU as students have now returned to some in-person classes beginning at the end of January following two weeks of online-only instruction. The school noted that as of Feb. 8, the dashboard shows seven-day average positivity rates for students holding steady at below 1 percent. This is down from a 6 percent test positivity rate after classes began for the fall semester.

“The data included in the dashboard are part of the robust toolkit we use to continuously monitor COVID-19 and make informed decisions,” Ohio State College of Public Health Dean Amy Fairchild, who leads the CMT, said. “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.”

The dashboard is also used to track statewide COVID-19 data, including daily cases and hospital capacity. It also tracks student testing data for all students and cumulative employee test data. OSU said since surveillance testing began on Aug. 14, the university has conducted more than 350,000 student tests and almost 25,000 employee tests.

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

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs