Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Rethinks COVID Reports
TACOMA, WA – For nearly two years now, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has provided daily COVID-19 data updates, listing how many people have died each day, how many new cases of COVID -19 had been reported – and more recently adding updates on vaccines and outbreaks.
But, as 2022 approaches, the Department of Health says it’s time for a change.
“Last week we reported 84 new cases of COVID-19 in Pierce County on Monday,” writes Naomi Wilson, TPCHD community assessment manager. “Then on Tuesday we reported 124 cases. Wednesday was 182. Ask yourself: Did these numbers tell you anything useful? “
As part of its new routine, the health service will continue to count all these data points every day, but will only provide weekly reports to the public. The health department says it will hopefully give residents useful information on the current state of the pandemic in Pierce County, without bogging down everyone with the largely irrelevant daily fluctuations.
“We want to share information that you can use and take action on,” Wilson said. “Daily reporting of cases, hospitalizations and deaths is consistent – and slowly improving – but it doesn’t offer much to help you navigate life with COVID-19. “
As part of the new reporting schedule, which takes effect from next week, the health service will release a 7-day update on cases, deaths, hospitalizations and demographics every Tuesday. On Wednesday, he will issue updates on vaccines and vaccination rates. Finally on Thursday, a third and final report will include information on outbreaks in schools, businesses and long-term care facilities.
“We’ll also be able to zoom out and update you on trends,” Wilson said. “How do this week’s cases compare to the last few weeks, for example? Are we in a new wave or are case rates smoothing out? Are hospitals filling up again or the pressure easing? she ?”