By: Jenna Thomas
In early September, The Cauldron published an article analyzing Cleveland State’s pandemic response compared to colleges in Ohio. This included a look at transparency and access to Coronavirus related information at different universities. Last week, CSU joined many other Ohio universities in providing easily accessible numbers of COVID-19 cases and close contacts. Updated every Wednesday, the dashboard shows how many students and employees are isolating or quarantining―both on and off campus.
On October 14th, Harlan Sands introduced the new dashboard and shared his excitement for these promising figures during his bi-weekly townhall.
“On a campus of almost 17,000 students, 1,000 faculty, and an equal number of staff, these are very very positive numbers,” Sands said.
President Sands also highlighted their new initiative to randomly test on-campus residents, in hopes of finding asymptomatic clusters and stopping the spread before it begins.
What the dashboard lacks is information on trends and testing. Once the dashboard is updated, past information is no longer accessible to students. Unless students and faculty are personally tracking the data weekly, this makes it difficult to see if cases are increasing significantly or if fewer students and employees are becoming infected.
It also does not show how many tests Cleveland State is administering, and how many tests come back positive. This is called the “percent positive,” and is a crucial piece of information during pandemics. This data answers key questions like, “Is CSU offering enough tests?” and “How serious is transmission among students?”
Universities like Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve, and Ohio University offer trending and testing data on their dashboards.