The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) is alerting the community to upcoming changes to our COVID-19 Daily Data Table and reporting system.
Beginning Wednesday, December 21, TCHD will publish a new COVID-19 data dashboard on the website and move to a weekly reporting system. The updated data dashboard will include active hospitalizations, new hospital admissions, total resident deaths, weekly case rate per 100K, positive cases over the last 7 days, percent positive over the last 7 days, vaccination rates, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) community level. TCHD data reporting will pull directly from datasets maintained by the NYS Department of Health (DOH) and CDC. The dashboard will update automatically as data becomes available during the week. TCHD will provide a weekly data update on social media on Fridays, or if a holiday, on the next business day. The dashboard will no longer be displayed on the website’s homepage, please refer to the data dashboard webpage: https://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/health/covid19dashboard.
Daily Case Numbers Changing to Case Rate
At the closing of the year, NYS DOH will no longer report daily positive cases to the CommCare System, an online database TCHD has been accessing for reporting daily positive case numbers. To assist residents in determining local risk, TCHD will now report the case rate from the CDC and positive cases and percent positive over the last 7 days from NYS DOH.
Additionally, residents should be advised that with the closing of CommCare, you will no longer receive a text message alerting you of a positive test result. You will only receive your test result directly from the organization where you received your testing (for example, via Cayuga Health System’s portal).
Daily Testing Numbers, Lab-Based and Self-Reported
TCHD will no longer report the number of tests conducted. Self-test kits are readily available, and the results are not required to be reported; lab test results are only a small percentage of the community testing.
As of December 21, 2022, TCHD will also be discontinuing our self-reporting online tool, a system implemented in December 2021. Individuals have been able to use this system to report their positive self-test results in an effort to determine a more accurate picture of local positive case numbers. TCHD thanks the 4,000+ residents who opted to use this system over the past year as it has enhanced the ability to report local disease data.
Self-testing continues to be a reliable method for determining health status; test-kits are available to the community, free of charge, at local libraries and municipal centers. Please contact your local library or municipal center before arriving to check availability.
Hospitalization rates remains a primary indicator of the impact of COVID-19 disease within a community. Hospital capacity is tracked based on the number of beds used for COVID-19 patients and informs our community’s understanding of severity of disease as well as the current strain on our healthcare system. Cayuga Health System reports their capacity directly to NYS, and the TCHD dashboard will reflect this data.
Death data will now be accessed from the NYS DOH system, which will be a significant change in our reporting. Previously, TCHD maintained a transparent reporting system based on the death certificates processed at the Tompkins County Vital Records office. This system allowed TCHD to confirm and confidently report the deaths of Tompkins County residents who passed away from COVID-19.
Our death data total, 73, will increase to 98, which will incorporate an additional 25 COVID-19 deaths of county residents who passed away outside of Tompkins County.
COVID-19 vaccination data will come directly from the CDC, including fully vaccinated with the primary series, fully vaccinated with the first booster, and vaccinated with the bivalent booster.
COVID-19 trend and demographic graphs on the COVID data page will no longer be updated but will remain on the site as an archive.
Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “We recognize the value of data in keeping the community informed of their personal risk from COVID-19 and have taken great pride in providing accurate, reliable and consistent data to our residents throughout the pandemic. With these values in mind, we believe the shift in our data reporting will strengthen the accuracy, reliability and consistency, as we work to continue providing our community with the information regarding local disease prevalence and severity.”
COVID-19 Vaccines, including boosters, remain free of charge. The booster doses are available at local pharmacies and healthcare provider offices. Find a vaccine near you online at vaccines.gov or dial 211 (1-877-211-8667) for assistance. You will need to present your vaccination card demonstrating which vaccine you were given and the date your vaccine was received to obtain an updated booster dose.
The Tompkins County Health Department is your partner for a healthy community. Find us online at TompkinsCountyNY.gov/health, and follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/TompkinsPublicHealth and on Twitter at @TompkinsHealth. Sign up to receive Health Department updates or other county announcements via email or text.