UPDATE: Boone County officials unveil COVID-19 digital dashboard
COLUMBIA - Columbia and Boone county officials hosted a community briefing to discuss the launch of a new dashboard and information surrounding COVID-19 in Columbia and Boone County.
The dashboard will serve as a resource for the public, health professionals and county officials for new information about the virus.
"As we began the early process to prepare and respond to this novel Coronavirus, I am committed to lead with the epidemiology based on data and science," Columbia Mayor Brian Treece said. "And not public opinion or political pressure, to be prepared but not panic."
The new hub tracks and displays the relevant data on the disease and Mayor Treece said this is the same data that our health department uses as part of their decision making.
"This hub provides data on hospital status and readiness, the geographical spread of cases throughout Boone County based on zip code and data about cases in surrounding counties that may be part of our healthcare catchment area for those that come to Columbia for their health care," Treece said. "That helps us determine the potential impacts on hospitals here in the county."
Almost all of the information available will be updated everyday at 5 p.m. The exception? Hospitals.
"Given the fact that hospital status is very good, they didn't see a need to try to update those on the weekends," Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Assistant Director Scott Clardy said. "I'm sure that will change if at any time, unfortunately, start having issues with hospitals."
One of the new additions that Clardy mentioned is having a map of the county that is tracking cases by zip code. He said they have not done before.
Within the hub are various charts and graphs that break COVID-19 cases down by race, gender and age. This information allows the city to recognize areas that have racial disparities that may be occurring.
"We have 18% of our cases are Black or African American, while only 8.8% is that race," Clardy said. "This is something we are watching very closely."
From health officials to community members to store owners, one of the intentions behind this new hub is to allow people to manage expectations and make decisions as we move forward.
“This is very readable for everybody," Mayor Treece said. "I think Scott Clardy probably looks at this data differently than say a small business wanting to know if they’re going to open next week and as you heard, Director Browning mentioned last night if these trends and that doubling rate does not mature then we’ll open to 50% capacity.”
Click here if you want to explore the new dashboard and information hub on coronavirus.