Garfield County takes new direction on COVID-19 data

July 29, 2022

More than two years into the pandemic, Garfield County Public Health has changed the data sources reported on its COVID-19 data web page. The page is still active, but instead of calculating local information, it provides a central location for important links to current state and federal COVID-19 data.

“There is still a lot of COVID-19 in the community as we see with our cumulative incidence rates, and it is not translating into severe cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. This is due to our high vaccination rate.” said Mason Hohstadt, Garfield County Public Health’s COVID data page administrator.

The department staff determined this is an appropriate time to change the way data is shared on its COVID-19 web page. The state and other county health departments have also reduced the frequency with which they are updating COVID-19 data.

“Far more people are using at-home tests, which don’t require reporting of negative test results. This means statistics we once used, such as test positivity rate, are not able to tell the story of COVID-19 now,” continued Hohstadt.

Becoming more useful are other data sources, such as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s wastewater surveillance page, which also measures COVID in a community. The page also features extensive county level information provided both by the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Our local department staff was extremely dedicated to providing a robust data portal throughout the pandemic. This data was crucial for individuals and organizations trying to make decisions during some of COVID-19’s most difficult periods. Though COVID-19 has not gone away, there are now a number of other resources for groups to continue to get up-to-date COVID-19 information,” said Public Health Director Joshua Williams.

For more information on COVID-19 and to view the new data page, visit the Garfield County COVID-19 web page.