HONOLULU (Eagle News) – Governor David Ige and representatives from the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) and the University of Hawaii unveiled on Friday, September 4, a new COVID-19 dashboard for anyone interested in tracking local data associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a tremendous step forward in providing vital information in an easy-to-read and understand format. It immediately improves our ability to provide key metrics about how Hawaii is performing in our fight against COVID-19 and offers data to aid in decision-making,” Ige stated.
The new metrics now available include:
- ICU bed and ventilator use by COVID patients: total number and percentage of capacity;
- occupancy and capacity of isolation and quarantine facilities (for those who cannot isolate or quarantine at home);
- contact tracing capacity and currently active/trained tracers, by county;
- testing capacity and turn-around time;
- personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies and distribution;
- modes of transmission with number of cases and clusters for each;
- mask-wearing behavior (Honolulu; all islands in process).
Data for the dashboard is pulled from multiple sources and updated daily or weekly, depending on the sources from which the information is derived. The dashboard will continue to be a collaborative process involving DOH and key partners sharing timely and accurate information with the public.
Kauai District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman, one of numerous collaborators who developed the dashboard, said the dashboard responds to several needs.
“There are many places where the public and policy-makers can obtain different pieces of the data. This is a central, go-to source for information from multiple sources,” Berreman explained.
She stated that the dashboard provides the ability to monitor COVID-19 indicators across the full spectrum of disease control actions: prevention, detection, containment and treatment, rather than focusing narrowly on just one.
“This dashboard is an all hands-on deck effort that aims to sync up multiple data sources into a single location. Our aspiration is to have data that are accurate, timely, and granular to help make individual and public decisions through a collaborative partnership with data providers,” said Dr. Victoria Fan of the University of Hawaii at Mānoa Myron B Thompson School of Social Work.
The dashboard seeks to inform the community and policy makers on four key action areas essential to stopping the pandemic:
- Prevention depicts the impact that individual and community behaviors such as mask wearing and physical distancing on keeping the virus from spreading. Prevention is essential in fighting the pandemic but often the most difficult to track because they largely relate to personal behavior and choices.
- Detection depicts how much disease is present in Hawaii, the types of activities or venues that are resulting in disease transmission, and whether it is increasing or decreasing and how rapidly. This information allows policy makers to tailor their actions and the public to engage in safe practices.
- Containment pulls together various parts of a complicated system to help people understand the status of contact tracing, lab testing results, quarantines, and other disease-limiting measures. These measures, taken together, are an important part of controlling the pandemic.
- Treatment and health care: shows data on hospital & ICU beds, ventilator use and availability of PPE. From this information the public and policy makers can understand how burdened the health care system is, and how prepared it is to manage an influx of COVID-19 patients.
Ige concluded, “This dashboard is a multi-faceted depiction of all the moving parts associated with pandemic management and response in one place. My hope is this will provide greater understanding and appreciation of the complexity of dealing with this unprecedented public health crisis and help get Hawaii back on the road to health and economic recovery as soon as possible.”
This dashboard can be accessed at www.hawaiicovid19.com.
(With reports from EBC Hawaii Bureau, Eagle News Service)