State health department makes major changes to COVID dashboard

The Indiana Department of Health on Wednesday made major changes to its COVID-19 dashboard, which it has been using since early in the pandemic to provide the public with coronavirus-related data.

The department also said it would shrink the dashboard’s publication schedule from five days a week to three days—Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The department published data seven days a week earlier in the pandemic.

Officials said it made the changes “to align with national reporting measurements and better reflect the impact the pandemic is having on communities and health care systems.”

The dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov no longer includes the state’s county and advisory metric map, daily COVID case counts or a daily positivity rate. Instead, it displays a seven-day average of cases and indicates whether that number is trending up or down.

Lindsay Weaver, the department’s chief medical officer, said the changes reflect a national shift toward using hospitalization data as the leading indicator of the impact that COVID has on a community.

“The increased use of at-home tests and other antigen tests that are never reported to the state has diluted the value of posting a daily positivity rate,” Weaver said. “A better measurement is the impact that COVID-19 is having on our health care systems, and our dashboard revisions will make it much easier to see how hospitals are being impacted.”

The dashboard changes give users the ability to sort metrics by demographics, including age, race and ethnicity.

According to statistics released Wednesday by the department, statewide hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have fallen to their lowest point since the opening weeks of the pandemic.

The department said 300 people were hospitalized with COVID or under investigation for COVID in Indiana as of Tuesday.

Hospitalizations have plummeted 91% since hitting a pandemic high of 3,519 on Jan. 13. COVID patients occupy only 3% of Indiana’s intensive care unit beds.

The state reported a seven-day average of 285 COVID cases, down from 212 the previous week.

The seven-day average of COVID deaths fell to four, down from eight the prior week. Indiana’s total death toll from COVID rose to 22,481.

The department said 60.8% of Indiana residents 12 and older and 62.8% of residents 18 and older are fully vaccinated.

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2 thoughts on “State health department makes major changes to COVID dashboard

  1. Looks like they’re providing more charts, but less information. I don’t really see the benefit to the public in completely changing the format of what they’ve been reporting for two years, especially when Indiana had a user-friendly dashboard, much better than another state I had looked at.

  2. And what happens when the next variant arrives and spreads throughout Indiana? Will the state return to more transparency, or continue the “the out-of-sight, out-of-mind…what you don’t know won’t hurt you” mindset?

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