(Joplin, MO) – With coronavirus numbers continuing to increase in our area, the Joplin Health Department has partnered with the University of Missouri “All Things Missouri” project to build an all-encompassing COVID-19 dashboard. This dashboard is similar to the City’s original dashboard in that it provides a general snapshot of COVID cases, but this update adds more specific information, focusing on the number of cases per day and an average of cases per day over a seven-day timeframe. Graphs will also illustrate this information for viewers.
“This is a labor and efficiency benefit to the Joplin Health Department,” said Health Director Ryan Talken. “Because our data input feeds directly into their system for tracking, staff members will not have to enter the data twice. With this system, we’re able to provide the local data that the public wants in both a written and illustrated format.”
Talken noted that the updated dashboard will go live in upcoming days, and will be found on the section of the City of Joplin’s website that focuses on the pandemic, joplinmo.org/coronavirus. Hospital numbers will continue to be included on this website, but it will not be part of the “All Things Missouri” dashboard.
Talken also pointed out that the data and graphs will update overnight. The original dashboard had to be manually updated each morning and was not changed during the weekend. The new dashboard continues to use local data to get the most accurate information to the public, including the number of cases per day and the statistic showing the average number of cases per day over a seven-day period. This will show as a trendline on the dashboard. It was previously tracked and displayed as the number of active and inactive cases per day.
Another change added to the dashboard is a new category called “probable cases.” This statistic will show the cumulative total of residents who have been diagnosed with a probable case of COVID-19. The current criteria used by the Joplin Health Department to be classified as a “probable” case is a positive antigen laboratory test.
The antigen test is not considered a confirmatory test, but is an important tool frequently used in point of care testing, which is becoming more common. The dashboard does separate probable cases from confirmed cases to clearly identify both categories since each provides insight to the health of the community.
“We anticipate seeing an increase in the usage of this type of test due to more availability, a reduced cost and the test results are delivered quickly. It’s often referred to as a rapid test,” explained Talken.
Users of this dashboard can also view a snapshot of COVID-19 cases in Missouri and review various indicators for counties within the state. Tabs at the bottom left of the dashboard will allow viewers to navigate between the maps and the different indicators.
Lynn Onstot, Public Information Officer
City of Joplin
417-624-0820, ext. 204