- By Dan Veaner
- Around Town
Dealing with COVID-19 has become a way of life, and while some fear that will lead to complacence, New York State has seen some success at reopening safely. Many restrictions still apply, and for folks who want up to date information on the spread and containment of the disease, a number of local and state-wide web portals have been created. Here is a list of some of the websites that keep daily statistics on the spread, testing, and treatment of the virus.
Not surprisingly, the best source for local coronavirus information is the Tompkins County Health Department website. It is updated daily, and provides a great list of resources, both for reporting on the pandemic and for preventative measures you can take. The list of resources is extensive, including food resources, gyms and fitness centers, the state travel advisory, local college/university information, and so on. Press releases, including local health alerts are updated as they occur. The COVID data chart on the front page of the Lansing Star is taken from the Health Department site (they update their chart daily and we check it hourly so we can bring it to you soon after it has been posted). There is a myriad of information about local testing sites as well as information on how to report a local complaint, when and where face coverings are required, guidance for when and how you need to quarantine, a list of FAQs, plus links to many other resources.
Cornell University has its own COVID dashboard where statistics on university are posted, including a color-based 'alert level' warning. green stands for 'New Normal' with rare cases and controlled transmission. Yellow means low to moderate risk. On Wednesday Cornell was reporting a yellow alert level. Orange stands for 'moderate risk', and red means a significant increase that would cause the campus to shut down.
New York State has a number of coronavirus reporting resources, starting with the Department of Health. That site also has a link to its COVID-19 Tracker, which provides a daily county-by-county report on COVID cases, plus a report on nursing home staff testing.
One of the state's newest reporting sites is the COVID Report Card site, which will report on school district COVID statistics from districts across New York State once required data starts coming in to the New York State Health Department. According to a press release earlier this week, "The COVID-19 Report Card online dashboard features user-friendly design to make it easy for parents, teachers, students and all New Yorkers to access the data in one central location. Visitors to the website can simply type in their home address to identify their school district, select their specific school, and find all reported positives, a breakdown of testing and results for students and teachers and the current enrollment. The dashboard will feature 7-day trend charts so visitors can track results over time."
Do you have a child attending a state university? New York State has also launched a SUNY COVID Tracker site. The site allows you to pick a specific campus or campuses, or see statistics on all New York State colleges and universities, and allows you st set date ranges for the data you want to see. it also tracks quarantine status, hospitalizations, and fatalities. As of this writing (Wednesday) the site reported one employee and one student fatality state-wide. It also reported that of the 3,908 rooms available for isolation, only 485 were in use (with plenty of capacity available for more cases).
'Ithaca Community Observer' is an unofficial site on which you can report unsafe gatherings you observe and they are placed on a map. It is limited to Tompkins County, and its data is crowd-sourced. The site produced quite a bit of controversy when it was introduced to the Mutual Aid Tompkins group on Facebook, with some people calling it a 'big-brother' style initiative, encouraging citizens to report on their fellow citizens, while others defended it as a handy way to see which areas to avoid.
For nation-wide data the CDC maintains a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) site. it includes a 'self-checker' tool to help you decide whether you need to be tested, and information on what your test results actually mean. The site also includes a Data Tracker that keeps you up to date on how the nation is doing as a whole, and with state by state breakdowns.
Finally, the World Health Organization issues weekly reports on the spread of the pandemic on its Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Weekly Epidemiological Update and Weekly Operational Update web page. The reports include a map color coded to show at a glance which countries are the hardest and least hit by the pandemic.