For most of the COVID-19 pandemic, Denver has provided some of the most comprehensive disease-related data of any major U.S. city, including detailed breakdowns of cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccinations in the 78 official quarters.
But the overwhelming majority of that information was taken offline in early fall for supposed upgrades by a team working with the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment. More than three months later, most neighborhood-specific statistics are still inaccessible on the Denver COVID-19 website, even though the state of Colorado is seeing the largest increase in cases to date – one so large From a rally of officials (including Mayor Michael Hancock) earlier this week, Kathy Howell, chief nurse at the University of Colorado Hospital, predicted that January would be “possibly the scariest month in the world. pandemic”.
At this time, there is no information on hospitalizations, deaths or vaccination percentages in the neighborhood on the city site, and the map of case rates in the neighborhood that was eventually unveiled on last month is less complete than before, showing figures that are about a month old. Currently, figures on the site cover the period from December 6 to 19, before infections fueled by the Omicron variant hit the city head-on.
What is going on? DDPHE spokesperson Courtney Ronner, who responded to our inquiries about missing data in November, offers an update.
âDashboards are important for voters and the public to help understand the COVID-19 status in Denver,â she acknowledges. âWe are still in the process of adding maps that show the cumulative number of hospitalizations and deaths by ward. Our team is still working to clean up this data to ensure that what is uploaded and made public is accurate. also to add the vaccination rate maps to our vaccine dashboards. â
However, she notes, âSome parts of the Public Health Institute at Denver Health (PHIDH) dashboards will not return, like recent death and hospitalization rates by ward. These were short-term features of PHIDH dashboards, and there is less data in these short periods, resulting in large amounts of neighborhood level data deletion due to privacy policies, which is not informative to the public. ”
According to Ronner, “Much of the backlog is focused on resources and the current need to manually clean up data. We have thousands and thousands of data points dating back to the start of the pandemic.”
For example: âWhen reviewing vaccination cards, PHIDH used a different address geocoding system than DDPHE which automatically cleaned and corrected incomplete or unverified addresses. Many addresses entered into the state system require additional verification, and the mapping software is not able to automatically correct as many faulty addresses as the PHIDH system. We are working on providing additional address cleaning services, but it is important to recognize that we are always able to look at overall geographic trends to see which neighborhoods have higher / lower immunization so we are still able determine where we need to focus vaccine awareness efforts. However, until we have additional address cleaning software, the vaccination rate maps we have will appear artificially low due to a large number of unverified addresses that our software does not recognize. ; this incomplete information would not be useful to share with the public. ”
Ronner points out, âWe are working as fast as we can to add to these existing dashboards, and at the moment I don’t have a firm completion date, as there are many factors that affect the ability to get results. precise and meaningful data. live on our website. ”
Including the very lively release of the Omicron variant.