UWEC’s COVID-19 dashboard receives “A-” nationally

Hard work and transparency contribute to grade from “We Rate COVID Dashboard”

We Rate COVID Dashboard has rated over 300 COVID-19 dashboards.

Photo by SUBMITTED

We Rate COVID Dashboard has rated over 300 COVID-19 dashboards.

According to “We Rate COVID Dashboards,” UW-Eau Claire’s COVID-19 Dashboard received a grade of A- nationally. Only 34 colleges out of 318 have received an A or higher as of Oct. 28.

Their website shows UWEC’s dashboard was easy to read, had the proper data represented, had frequent updates and had good timing for test results.

Michael Knuth, the public information officer and associate director of integrated marketing and communications, said We Rate COVID Dashboard is a team of people who have reviewed over 300 COVID-19 dashboards at universities across the country.

“The members of the team that do the grading are Ph.D.s from Yale School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, Ohio State and Baylor College of Medicine,” Knuth said.

The judges review nine different areas of criteria in regards to each dashboard, Knuth said. They then compiled a score and gave a letter grade to each university based on the score. More information on the grading process can be found on their website.

The dashboard was created to communicate important data related to testing and the virus within campus and the community, Knuth said. The number one goal has always been to make sure everyone is informed.

Knuth said he is a part of the team who helped create the dashboard. The team has continued to refine the dashboard over the semester to get information out in the best way possible.

Jodi Thesing-Ritter, the executive director for diversity and inclusion and antigen testing coordinator on campus, also said another goal is to distribute the right information to help the campus and community.

“I’m really proud to be a staff member at UWEC,” Thesing-Ritter said. “Everyone is working so hard on behalf of our students.”

UWEC’s department of institutional research created graphic charts using Tableau software to display the testing data, Knuth said. Student Health Service supplies the data from PCR and antigen tests from McPhee Physical Education Center.

Eau Claire City-County Health Department and Housing and Residence Life provide the information in regards to students in isolation and quarantine on campus, Knuth said.

According to UWEC’s COVID-19 Dashboard, PCR tests are conducted five days a week. The dashboard is updated daily during the week, within normal business hours.  All data is confirmed by SHS and Eau Claire City-County Health Department.

“There is value in being recognized positively,” Thesing-Ritter said. “There are critiques of our dashboard and people are asking for additional information, but I think the fact we’ve been recognized nationally, it demonstrates we are doing a lot to get information in the hands of the community.”

There is a lot of work going into testing and data collection, Thesing-Ritter said. They are doing their best to be transparent and provide as much information as possible.

Knuth also recognized the hard work that has gone into the dashboard and was happy when the it received an A-. He recognized the Chancellor for his efforts in leading the team.

“Chancellor Schmidt’s commitment to transparency and communicating with faculty, staff, students and the community has been a driving force behind the dashboard team’s efforts,” Knuth said.

To keep up with COVID-19 on campus and in the community, continually check in on the COVID-19 Dashboard.

Lunderville can be reached at [email protected].