The University of Michigan has added more test results to its COVID-19 dashboard and provided further clarity around who has been tested in an update of the data implemented Oct. 28.
The changes are part of a continued effort to enhance data tracking related to COVID-19 within the university community.
Community members will see the following changes:
• The addition of approximately 7,000 test results. These tests were administered between early March and mid-October. They represent multiple negative tests on approximately 3,000 employees, approximately one third of whom are student employees. After further examination of the test results, it was determined that employees who had more than one negative test result were only being reported as having one test. Most of those employees had two or three tests, but any additional test results were not being reported.
• Reduction of duplicate cases. University officials have been able to remove approximately 47 duplicate case records between Occupational Health Services and University Health Service, and between outside testing and U-M testing.
• Some students previously recorded as employees were moved to the student category. Student employees, some graduate students and health-profession students are served by Occupational Health Services to watch for workplace exposures in addition to usual case investigation and contact tracing. Following an improvement to university data systems, U-M is now listing these individuals as students to give a more complete picture of the impact of COVID-19 on the student population.
• Residence hall information will now be updated twice a week. Updates will be provided on Tuesdays and Fridays. A new column also was added to display the positive cases over the last two weeks in addition to cumulative totals since student move-in.
“The dashboard relies on multiple sources of data to get an overall sense of case and testing numbers on campus,” said Emily Martin, associate professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health. “We are continually working to improve our data systems and to validate results between systems and against health department records. We will continue to post improved data as we have it along with narrative explanations.”
In September, the university added positive test results from labs not affiliated with U-M that are reported to the Washtenaw County Health Department, the number of cases in each campus residence hall, and the results of the Community Sampling and Tracking Program. Cases identified by labs not affiliated with U-M are now included in the total box at the bottom of the dashboard. Previously the total cases at the bottom only included U-M cases.
The dashboard also includes cumulative data on the total number of tests, the total number of positive cases, test positivity, and the number of students in quarantine or isolation housing since March 8.
Additional information on the dashboard includes state and regional trends, as well as a narrative summary of the testing data.