UT-Austin adds active cases, positivity rates to COVID-19 dashboard

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Photo Credit: Carolyn Diaz | Daily Texan Staff

The University updated its COVID-19 dashboard Wednesday to include information about active cases and positive test rates for certain tests.

There are 58 estimated active cases on campus as of Tuesday, according to the dashboard. The positivity rate for proactive community testing is 2.2% among students and 0.1% among faculty and staff since June 1. The positivity rate for nasal swab testing, or clinical testing, is 11.8% among students and 13.4% among faculty and staff since June 1. 

The dashboard also includes a sliding bar to view cases within a certain date range and a tab showing 774 cases since classes started Aug. 26. There have been 1,274 total community cases reported since March 1.

Susan Hochman, associate director of assessment, communication and data informatics for University Health Services and the Counseling and Mental Health Center, said the changes were made to the dashboard to provide greater transparency and context for people who want to understand the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

“We're constantly listening to members of our community to hear what information was most meaningful for them to see on the dashboard,” Hochman said. “We still plan to update the dashboard nightly, as we normally would.”

 

The proactive community testing results have received the appropriate certification so that positive test results will no longer require follow-up confirmatory testing, according to the dashboard.

Two new, separate graphs show the daily positivity rates for proactive community testing and clinical testing, along with the number of positive results and tests conducted each day. The dashboard shows a 0.63% combined student, faculty and staff proactive community testing positivity rate and a 5.59% combined clinical positivity rate over the past week.

Hochman said there is no overall positivity rate because the rates for the two kinds of testing are different, and combining those would not accurately portray the positivity rate on campus.

“We're sampling a percentage of the general population versus those who are sick or symptomatic or close contacts,” Hochman said. “From a public health standpoint, it wouldn’t really be a fair depiction to combine that into one positivity rate.”