We will soon make changes to the COVID-19 data dashboard on our website. A lot has changed since the pandemic started more than two years ago, and some aspects of the dashboard are not useful anymore. Other information is now easily available from sources like DOH and the CDC.
Here’s a summary of the changes we will make starting on Thursday, Aug. 25:
We will no longer publish COVID-19 rates by school district geography. Relatively small populations in some of these geographic areas make comparison difficult, especially compared with more urban areas. We also know that many at-home COVID-19 tests are unreported and don’t get added to any charts or metrics making reported infection rates less reliable as a measure of actual infections. This impacts statistics at all levels - local, state, and national. It has an outsized impact when the sample size is smallest, like in school district geography.
Infection by vaccination status is also not as relevant as it once was. Some people are now on their third or fourth booster shot based on their own individual health risks and pre-existing conditions. We also expect recommendations for booster shots to continue to become more specific to each individual and their health needs moving forward, which would make data tracking increasingly difficult. Finally, DOH and CDC are able to compare rates of infection, hospitalization, and death over much larger populations than we can in Whatcom County alone, allowing for more statistically significant comparisons.
We will continue to provide links to DOH and CDC COVID-19 information on our website. We’ll also look for other ways to provide meaningful local data about the virus - like the COVID-19 Two-Year Report we recently published.