Portage County COVID dashboard puts everything in one place
By Kris Leonhardt
PORTAGE COUNTY – The Portage County Health and Human Services (PCHHS) Division of Public Health, in conjunction with the county’s planning and zoning department, recently developed and made live a dashboard to place all county COVID information in one spot.
The click and scroll-based site, located at https://coronavirus-response-portage-county-portagecowi.hub.arcgis.com, is unique to the county and was initiated because county officials saw a need for streamlining county information on the pandemic.
“Some counties are choosing to create their own type of data dashboard…,” said Portage County Community Health Planner Elizabeth Beck. “It’s not a statewide initiative. If a county wants to create their own dashboard, they can, which is what Portage County decided to do. But, the state also has their own reporting, and the reports we do for COVID-19, for positive cases and things like that, that all goes to the state.
“The demographic data that is all reported from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, but it is based off of the information that we put into the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance Systems, or WEDSS, and then that is given back to us.”
While some of the information is dependent on the other, the state and county sites operate independently with different features.
“The biggest difference is that the charts that are on the (Portage County dashboard) are specific to Portage County,” Beck explained. “The state has a lot of information, but it really looks at things from a state perspective, so it will have active and recovered cases for Wisconsin. You can drill down on the website to county level. They also have a chart that they update daily, usually after 2 p.m. that has the number of cases per county and things like that.
“But, really, the biggest difference is, and the reason for Portage County to have their own dashboard is, because they talk to each other with the information that is received from the state that is specific to Portage County.
“For example, the Portage County Guidance & Information section, you can see the link to the Portage County COVID-19 order that came out back in May; there was a Portage County Toolkit that was created, on this page you can find press releases that were created from Portage County.
“So, it just keeps everything that is related to COVID-19 in one place,” which Beck said makes it easier for county residents.
“When we just had this information on the Portage County website, it was really hard for folks to find; whereas, everything that people may want to see is all in one place and all on one website,” she added.
The site lists data regarding: active and recovered cases, total positive cases, total negative cases, hospitalizations, total Portage County cases by date, daily amounts of negative and positive cases, and trends in data. The page also reflects the update times on the data.
The dashboard home page displays county-specific data, by scrolling down the page. To the right of the Portage County Health & Human Services Division of Public Health logo is a short navigation bar displaying a few options – “PC Guidance & Information,” “Being Safe Amid COVID-19” and “More.” The “More” link features a dropdown box that features “Wisconsin Data,” COVID Activity Level by Region and County,” “Resilient Wisconsin,” and “Print Resources.”
Most operations center on the navigation bar to the right of the PCHHS logo.
While the site’s development is complete, Beck warns, “some kinks might pop up occasionally,” through updating of the site and other means.
To view the dashboard, visit https://coronavirus-response-portage-county-portagecowi.hub.arcgis.com.
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