Department of Health to make significant changes to COVID-19 data dashboard

For immediate release: January 21, 2022   (22-013)Spanish

Contact: DOH Communications

Public inquiries: State COVID-19 Information Hotline, 1-800-525-0127

Department of Health to make significant changes to COVID-19 data dashboard

OLYMPIA – Today, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) will make a number of changes to the way it presents information on its COVID-19 Data Dashboard. The goal is to display current trends and information that are most applicable to the current phase of the pandemic. DOH is also adjusting the frequency of COVID-19 dashboard updates from daily to three times a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The most visible of the updates is to the Current Status tab on the dashboard. A new format will focus on three measures important for monitoring COVID-19 in Washington, including:

  • 7-day case rate,
  • 7-day percent hospital occupancy, and 
  • total population fully vaccinated.

A new tab will display COVID-19 disease activity and hospital occupancy by color coding to indicate high, substantial, moderate, or low occupancy. 

Although DOH is changing the format and presentation, historical epidemiological data will continue to be available on the dashboard.

COVID-19 by Age

The update will include changes in how DOH reports COVID-19 data by age groups. Moving forward, age groups will be standardized on the dashboard using the following categories 0-4, 5-11, 12-17, 18-34, 35-49, 50-64, 65-79, and 80+.  

County-level hospitalizations by age groups will be added back to the Demographics tab with two broad age groups: under 65 and 65 and older. The data have been grouped in this way to protect the privacy of Washingtonians in small geographic locations with fewer hospitalizations.

Finally, the 5-11 age group will be added to the dashboard age categories to align with the current immunization age groups.         

COVID-19 Hospitalizations

To reduce confusion over hospitalization data, DOH will remove the COVID-like Illness Hospitalization tab. This data includes not just COVID-19 hospitalizations, but any emergency inpatient admissions with complaints of fever and respiratory illness. DOH will continue to provide COVID-19 hospitalization data through the case hospitalization data on the Epidemiological Curves and Cumulative Counts tabs and through the hospital data on the Health Care System Readiness tab.

Incomplete Data

The incomplete data periods, indicated by light gray lines on the dashboard graphs, will be removed when displaying calculated measures such as rates or percentages. This change is needed to help Washingtonians focus on the most complete COVID-19 information.

There is no change to how data regarding COVID deaths is displayed.

“These dashboard updates will display data about the pandemic in a way that’s meaningful to the public,” said Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH, Chief Science Officer. “I think they will go a long way in helping us focus on some of the COVID-19 indicators that matter the most to individuals, our community, and our state.”

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