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University Creates Virtual COVID-19 Dashboard

By Dylan Valic, Editor in Chief

The university has launched an online dashboard to track cases of COVID-19 on campus. This comes shortly after the creation of New York state’s “COVID-19 Report Card,” an interactive website that showcases how many positive COVID-19 cases are in schools around the state.

The university’s dashboard shows how many positive cases have been reported daily, and how many cases have been reported in the current two week period. Reopening guidance issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo states that any university in New York must have less than one hundred positive cases within the span of two weeks, otherwise they must transition to online learning.

The goal of the dashboard is to keep the campus community informed about updates relating to COVID-19 on campus according to Chief Administrative Officer Joseph Schaefer and Chief of Student Affairs and Alumni Engagement Michael Berthel. 

“That’s our commitment to the community,” Berthel said “that we’re going to keep people updated and informed as we progress throughout the semester.”

The dashboard will be updated daily, and will show all positive cases reported relating to members of the campus community, regardless where they receive their test results, according to Berthel.

The dashboard was given a rating of “C+” by “We Rate Covid Dashboards,” a website run by two Yale University School of Public Health professors who evaluate different universities COVID-19 dashboards. The rating was updated from the universities previous rating of “F” for not having a dashboard available.

The New York state “COVID-19 Report Card” website features detailed information about the virus’s impact on campus such as, the amount of testing done on campus, how many students are currently quarantined and how many hospitalizations have occurred as a result of the virus.

Information for the “COVID-19 Report Card” website is provided by universities, local health departments and testing locations, according to Governor Cuomo.

During the two week period from Sept.12 through Sept.25 the Post campus had a total of five positive cases, with an additional case reported on the Brooklyn campus, according to the university’s dashboard.

This number contradicts the New York state “COVID-19 Report Card” which states that the Post campus had a total of eight cases from Sept.12 through Sept.25. This discrepancy is because the university initially reported all positive cases to date to the Department of Health, according to Berthel. 

Berthel is hopeful for the remainder of the semester, but stresses that it will take a community commitment to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“If you look at the last two week period which ended this past weekend we were able to keep cases relatively low, which is a really good thing and I think a sign of a lot of success from good protocols and practices being in place, and also vigilance on behalf of the community,” Berthel said. “Wearing masks, social distancing and respecting one another, that’s all key to that as well.”

The university had previously been issuing COVID-19 related updates through email alerts and text messages to students. All of the university’s previous messages, as well as new updates, are available to read online on the “Coronavirus Update” section of the Long Island University website.

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