Health Department decides to release Covid-19 info on local dashboard
July 15, 2020
After a discussion on how to report locally confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Gallatin City-County Health Department announced last week they would not be using the statewide release of data.
According to Gallatin County Communications Coordinator Whitney Bermes, the department has been working through how to best deal with the discrepancies in case counts between our dashboard for Gallatin County and what the state's dashboard lists for Gallatin County.
"In the last day or so, we've gone back and forth about whether we just report state numbers to the public. But we have opted to continue the course we have been on in reporting our local data as it is the most up-to-date information for our area," she said.
Officials also explained why the data dashboard operated by the Gallatin City-County Health Department (GCCHD) does not reflect similar numbers as the data dashboard operated by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).
"One reason is the timing of when the data is received. GCCHD typically receives information about the positive case first and is able to update the data more quickly. Once the case is entered into the Montana Infectious Disease Information System, the case is processed and reviewed by DPHHS. This review includes verification that the case is a resident of Gallatin County," Bermes said. "Additionally, cut off times are needed to appropriately manage data, so a case that is displayed on the GCCHD dashboard on one day may not be entered onto the DPHHS dashboard until the following day. GCCHD has chosen to include out-of-county and out-of-state residents who are isolated and recovering in Gallatin County in the case counts. This is not to say that anyone entity is incorrectly publishing the data, it merely explains how the data is obtained at the local level and shared to the state level."
As of Tuesday morning, there have been 485 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county. Their dashboard shows 348 have recovered, four are currently hospitalized, there are 137 active cases and there has been one death. A total of 9,302 tests have been completed in Gallatin County.
To visit the dashboard, go to https://www.healthygallatin.org/coronavirus-covid-19/