Here’s how to make sense of the changes to Arizona’s COVID-19 dashboard

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PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Health Services made a variety of changes this week to the way it presents data on its COVID-19 dashboard, some that could be confusing without further explanation.

ADHS is also planning additional system updates that will delay reporting for several key categories on Sunday and Monday.

“When the dashboard is updated on Tuesday, October 19, it will have three days of reporting for cases, deaths and tests,” Acting Director of Health Don Herrington said in a blog post. Thursday.

“So there will most likely be an unusually high number of additions that morning. We expect daily additions to return to normal levels over the next few days. “

Various “improvements” appeared with Wednesday’s daily dashboard update.

“One of the biggest changes you’ll notice is that on most pages you’ll see the most recent COVID-19 data,” Herrington said in a blog post that morning. “The dashboard will show you the past six months by default to give you a better picture of what’s going on in Arizona right now.”

The new version of the site includes differences in the sections on laboratory testing and vaccine administration which at first glance appear to show significant changes from previously reported data. However, only the presentation has changed, not the underlying data, according to ADHS.

Notably, the weekly percentage positive rate for diagnostic testing, a key indicator of the virus’s spread in the community, dropped by about 3 percentage points in the default test page view after the update. Wednesday level.

Herrington addressed the discrepancy in this morning’s post.

“When the previous version of this section had two tabs, one showing data for individuals tested and the other showing data for all tests performed, the updated section is based only on all tests performed,” a Herrington explained.

“It is a better indicator of laboratory demand and community transmission in Arizona.”

The default display of the positive weekly percentage was previously the unique individual rate, which had remained stable at around 12% in recent weeks. With the new format showing the rate for all tests performed, the displayed weekly numbers are down to 9% for those weeks. The rate climbed to 10% this week from Friday’s update.

Another big change, the vaccination page ended up showing fewer people getting vaccinated in Arizona.

This is because the site previously presented totals based on “county of administration,” which in some cases resulted in only one person being counted twice.

“If someone was vaccinated with a two-dose series in County A / County B, then that individual would be counted in the vaccination measures for County A and County B because both counties played a role in vaccination efforts, ”the ADHS data team explained. in a statement responding to KTAR News 92.3 FMinvestigation of the gap.

“This number increased as more people received additional doses and the state’s PODs [points of dispensing] open and closed.

Tuesday’s dashboard showed 4,271,482 people (59.4% of the state’s population, based on 7,189,020 residents) who received at least one dose of the vaccine in Arizona and 3,781,360 people fully vaccinated. (52.6%).

Each of those totals fell by more than 100,000 in Wednesday’s update, with the percentages dropping accordingly.

The new site still contains data on “county of administration” in a second tab, but the default view shows data based on “county of residence”, which eliminates duplicates and therefore reduces totals.

“With the new ‘county of residence’ version, this problem does not exist because people are listed as residents of only one county,” ADHS said.

“No matter where they received the vaccine, they will only be counted in one jurisdiction. This explains the difference in the number of people vaccinated between the two tabs. “

According to Friday’s report, the dashboard showed 4,179,637 people who received at least one injection (58% of the state’s population) and 3,665,084 fully vaccinated (51%). Nationwide rates were 65.8% with at least one dose and 56.8% fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In addition to the new tab, there are two new data points on the two scorecards: the percentage of eligible individuals with at least one dose of vaccine as well as the percentage of individuals by age group,” said Herrington wrote on Wednesday about the vaccination section.

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