[Editor: Peter Khoury ranks Solano County’s excellent COVID-19 Dashboard 3rd among the Bay Area’s 9 counties. He also points out areas for improvement. Read through to the end for Khoury’s call to action. – R.S.]
A ranking of Bay Area Counties’ COVID-19 DashboardsPhoenix Data Project, by Peter Khoury, April 2, 2020
The link article from the Harvard Business Review discusses Lessons from Italy’s response to Coronavirus. In particular they cite the need for lots of data, the need for micro-scale data, and the need for data standardization. The Bay Area is largely falling flat on all of these fronts. I rank the Bay Area counties’ dashboards below, but really they should all be unified displaying lots of consistent high quality information on all of them. At the bottom of the rankings I tell you how to take action.
These rankings are a tongue in cheek way to motivate / shame counties to improve the state of their information and communication with the public. However ideally the counties would all coordinate with each other and unify their information so that we can see trends across the entire Bay Area.
1st Place Santa Clara County
Santa Clara’s dashboard shot up in the rankings from 6th previously to 1st because it is not just one dashboard it is three. I’ve shown here to the left my favorite of the three, the hospital dashboard. This includes such vital information such as ventilators available and breaks down bed availability into acute beds and ICU beds. The graphs on the righthand side of the dashboard will show evolution of hospital resources over time. Really quality really excellent information.
Two additional asks which would make it even better. Create an API or easy way to download the data. Split the hospitalized patients into age groups like Solano county does.
2nd Place Sonoma County
Sonoma County’s dashboard excels. It has
the number of tests being run
the date the data was collected
cases by county region
the information in text form (if desired)
3rd Place Solano County
Solano county promises to have much of the information Sonoma county does but isn’t quite there yet.
The one thing Solano county deserves credit for is separating the cases by age into hospitalized and non-severe. This will be incredibly useful information going forward. I would encourage Solano county to further separate out the 19-64 year old age ranges.
4th Place Contra Costa County
Contra Costa County added information about testing and hospitalizations to their website. They’re also displaying the information as evolving over time which is good. There could be much more information at a finer granularity but its definitely good progress.
5th Place Marin County
Not nearly as good as the Solano and Sonoma but they are still providing hospitalization numbers. Their display of information could use a lot of work.
6th Place tie Napa and San Mateo County
San Mateo isn’t really providing much more than a case count and deaths. They do have this broken down by age but unlike the Solano county data the age breakdown doesn’t give me much additional useful information.
It does show the cases growing exponentially.
Napa county doesn’t break down the cases by age but it does breakdown the cases by area.
7th Place San Francisco
These are fixed numbers of cases and deaths with no sense of the growing crisis or the exponential growth of the virus.
Last Place Joint Alameda and the City of Berkeley
The Alameda county website is incredibly flawed because of the “* Numbers exclude City of Berkeley cases.” I mean come on guys this is a local, regional, state, national, and global health emergency and Alameda County and the city of Berkeley can’t coordinate with each other?
I have found that the best way to improve your local county’s dashboard is to start calling your local politicians and to get your friends to call your local politicians. If you do not live in the Bay Area, go to your local county’s COVID-19 website and place it in these rankings. If you find it lacking, demand more information. At a minimum the website should have the information in bold.
Hospital beds available
ICU Beds available
Total number of tests conducted (this counts tests run multiple times on one person)
Total number of test conducted on unique individuals
Total number of tests that were positive for COVID-19
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