Toronto releases new COVID-19 dashboard to track testing and infections
Toronto Public Health has released a new COVID-19 monitoring dashboard to show how the city is faring in the fight against the deadly virus.
The new strategy was announced at the city's daily press briefing Friday afternoon by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Chair of Toronto Board of Health Joe Cressy, and they explained that the dashboard organizes Toronto's progress in four categories: virus spread and containment, laboratory testing, health care system capacity and public health.
Each of the categories is awarded a score of either green, yellow or red based on how the key indicators for that category are doing, and the city's overall situation is also given a score.
"You can think of it almost of a recovery scorecard," said Cressy during the press conference. "It tells us where we are, where we're doing well and where we need to improve."
We are pleased to launch our new #COVID19 monitoring dashboard that summarizes our progress in the fight against #COVID19 as we move towards safely reopening. See the dashboard on our website: https://t.co/0GGLAFtWDq pic.twitter.com/SzthVkRHrn— Toronto Public Health (@TOPublicHealth) June 12, 2020
If a category is labelled as green on the new dashboard, this means indicators have met their goals. If a section is given a yellow score, this means goals haven't yet been met and this category needs attention, and a red score means goals are not being met and trends are consistently going in the wrong direction.
Currently, Toronto's overall status is yellow.
"This is not unexpected given where we are in our outbreak," said Dr. de Villa during the press conference. "I am encouraged by our progress and also aware that if our indicators start to move towards red, we would need to look more closely at some of our strategies fo reopening."
The virus spread and containment category is also currently yellow, as this section tracks the seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 cases, the seven-day moving average of new hospitalizations and the active daily COVID-19 outbreaks in institutions.
Dr. de Villa said the yellow score is largely due to recent spikes in new cases that have to do with increased testing numbers, but overall we are headed in the right direction in terms of fewer new cases and hospitalizations.
At today's media briefing, we launched our new #COVID19 dashboard that summarizes our progress & helps inform our actions as we move forward with reopening our city. Read my remarks: https://t.co/slpyxNBrlh & view my presentation: https://t.co/7k2X3M2PVw— Dr. Eileen de Villa (@epdevilla) June 12, 2020
A yellow score has also been given to the laboratory testing section.
The indicators for this category include the per cent of new COVID-19 tests with a turnaround time of 24 hours (seven-day moving average is 24 per cent), per cent of new tests with a turnaround time of 48 hours (seven-day moving average is 63 per cent), and COVID-19 laboratory tests per cent positivity (seven-day moving average is 2.3 per cent).
Thankfully, the remaining two categories have both been given green scores.
This means Toronto has met its goals when it comes to both health system capacity (occupancy rates of ICU beds/ventilators and stock of PPE), and public health system capacity (ability to contact newly reported cases and contacts within 24 hours).
"We have reached the goal of 90 per cent of cases reached within 24 hours for the most current period," Dr. de Villa said. "However, this is an indicator that we have to monitor closely given that it is highly impacted by how many lab-confirmed new COVID-19 cases we receive in a given day."
We need to be radically transparent in our decision-making. Torontonians have a right to know what factors are being considered in opening up businesses, services, and local operations, and where we stand as a city in our ongoing work to stop the spread of COVID-19.— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) June 12, 2020
Dr. de Villa said she encourages everyone to monitor Toronto's progress and look up the dashboard and other data that informs the city's phased approach to reopening.
She added: "While this dashboard is an important tool to monitor our progress, it is important to note that we must also consider the social, economic and other health considerations as we move towards safely reopening our city."
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