New COVID-19 dashboard for western Mass. unveiled 

Staff Writer
Published: 8/25/2020 8:32:51 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A new COVID-19 dashboard has been launched with the goal of using state data to provide western Massachusetts residents with a snapshot of some of the most significant pandemic statistics.

The dashboard, created by the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, highlights key metrics such as the number of cases, tests and deaths in a two-week period, compared against the previous two-week period. The dashboard also includes this same information for average daily COVID-19 case incidence per 100,000 people and percent positive test rates.

Hamsphire, Hampden, Franklin and Berkshire counties each have their own reports. The dashboard will be released on a weekly basis, with updates planned for Thursday.

“We're trying to cull out what's most useful to people in their decision-making, and have it so that they can most easily access it,” said Kathleen Szegda, director of Community Research and Evaluation at the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts in Springfield. 

The dashboard draws from public data released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. But the statewide dashboard can be “a lot of data to go and sift through,” Szegda said, and the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts aims to make this information more accessible and less intimidating.

This information is especially pertinent as families and legislators make decisions regarding sending kids back to school, Szegda added.

“The hope is that people who need the data at a county level can have some information in one place,” Szegda said, “as opposed to reading through reports and having to pull it out.”

The dashboard can be accessed at https://www.publichealthwm.org/covid-19/data

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com. 


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