TUCSON, Ariz (KGUN) — The State of Arizona’s COVID dashboard has been the daily yardstick of the ups and downs of the pandemic. Now the state will stop daily reports and issue stats once a week.
Overloaded hospitals, high case counts and deaths. The Arizona Department of Health Services COVID dashboard tells the grim story of the pandemic in numbers and charts.
Now it will tell that story less often. Instead of new stats every day, the dashboard will collect a week’s worth of stats and release them each Wednesday.
Assistant State Health Director Jessica Rigler says there can be large, misleading swings in the data when you view it one day at a time.
“Right now you know there's a wide range and the number of new cases that are reported each day. That's just based on when the labs report to us or some labs are closed over the weekend, and so we'll get a huge influx of cases later in the week. Moving to a weekly reporting cadence really smooths that variability and provides a better and easier way to identify trends.”
Rigler says more than 30 other states have also stopped releasing daily data.
Many Arizona hospitals seem to endorse the change. 14 large hospital systems and smaller rural hospitals co-signed the Health Department announcement about the move to once a week stat releases.
While case counts are falling, Rigler says the state would have made the change whether counts were up, down or level.
“While we are seeing decreasing cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, and we're moving to this weekly reporting model, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's time to let your guard down. There is still widespread transmission of COVID-19 in Arizona and our metrics for keys counts and percent positivity are still quite high
So she’s reinforcing the advice to mask up and vaccinate.