Updated 12/3/2020 at 3:50pm
Launch Data Dashboard
- Download the weekly COVID-19 core data by date
- Read Data Snapshots: Highlights a few key data points from the week
- Review Forward Dane Metrics: The data guiding our plan to reopen Dane County
- Explore frequently asked questions about the data dashboard
Public Health Madison & Dane County has defined school metrics to guide recommendations for reopening all grades for in-person instruction.
- See our blog post for the latest on our school recommendations.
- This document outlines the metrics that will be used to help inform Public Health recommendations to reopen and close schools and will be assessed in combination with Forward Dane metrics, current best practices, federal and state guidance, and unforeseen influencing factors.
- Our current order page has answers to questions you may have about the order.
- See our news release for more information.
Last updated December 3, 2020; Data from November 17 to November 30
Current average number of cases per day, averaged over 14-day period: 319
|Grade Levels||Target for Possibly Resuming In-Person Pupil Instruction||Status|
|K-2||A 14-day average of 54 or fewer cases per day, sustained for four weeks||Met on August 18, may open per Public Health recommendations|
|3-5||A 14-day average of 39 or fewer cases per day, sustained for four weeks||
|6-12||A 14-day average of 19 or fewer cases per day, sustained for four weeks||Not met|
As shown in our school metrics table, in-person school reopening recommendations are different from in-person school closure recommendations. At this time, if Dane County surpasses 54 cases over a 14-day average, PHMDC will review data and make a determination of whether a county-wide closure of in person classes is recommended (if schools are required to be closed this will be determined by DHS). This will be based on several factors, including but not limited to:
- Number and trend of positive cases
- Extent of exposure
- Contact tracing capacity
While we’re currently seeing concerning data trends in Dane County and throughout the state, including increased community spread and increased hospitalizations, we are not seeing strong connections to in-person school environments. It’s important to note that many Dane County schools only have K-2 open for in-person instruction at this time and are reopening schools in a phased manner, per PHMDC’s recommendation. Starting with grades K-2 is a way to carefully minimize risk of exposure that is supported by science and starts getting youth back to in-person learning. We will continue to monitor for clusters in schools, but based on this current data, PHMDC is still supportive of allowing K-2 in-person at this time.
Each week we plan to share a data snapshot that highlights a few key data points from the week.
We are also now putting out a blog post each Monday titled "Data Notes," which explains the trends and themes we're seeing. To get notification when a new blog is posted, subscribe on this page. You can find past blog posts there as well.
- December 3, 2020
- November 25, 2020
- November 19, 2020
- November 12, 2020
- November 5, 2020
- Older issues of the Data Snapshot
Last updated December 3, 2020; Data from November 17 to November 30. Data are updated weekly on Thursdays.
|Measure||Dane County Status|
|Percent Positive Tests
Below a threshold of 5% for positive tests as a percent of total tests averaged across most recent 14 day period
|Cases per Day
Below a low incidence threshold of 4 cases per day for Dane County averaged over most recent 14 day period
Testing supplies and staff facilitate adequate testing for disease control and surveillance with goal of over 800 tests per day in most recent 14 day period
|Testing for Healthcare Workers
Robust testing in place for health care workers
|Not calculated this week (see Snapshot)|
|Patients Treated without Crisis Care
Treat all patients without crisis care, including facility use, staffing, and critical supply
|Not calculated this week (see Snapshot)|
|Healthcare Workers with COVID-19
Stable or decreasing numbers of infected healthcare workers in most recent 14 day period
|Lab Reporting Timeliness & Contact Tracing
All positive cases can be reported and contacted quickly to facilitate rapid isolation and quarantine for disease control in most recent 14 day period
Proportion of contacted COVID-19 cases who don't know where they could have gotten COVID-19 in most recent 14 day period
Stable or decrease of COVID-like syndromic cases reported within most recent 14 day period
In addition to the publicly facing nine metrics, we’ll be monitoring process measures as well to help us understand where there may be a gap in the system. These process measures look at transmission dynamics (the “R” value of our epidemic), lab result reporting timeliness, outbreak monitoring within priority populations, capacity for supporting isolation/quarantine, and contact attempts of both cases and contacts.
To move to Phase 1: all Dane County metrics must be yellow or green.
Phase 1 to Phase 2: will be assessed at 14 days after implementation of Phase 1 (May 26, 2020), then assessed regularly until criteria met. More than half of metrics must be green and Epidemiology criteria ("percent positive tests" and "cases per day") must not be red.
Phase 2 to Phase 3: will be assessed at 14 days after implementation of Phase 2, then assessed regularly until criteria met. More than half of metrics in Dane County must be green, and no metrics in Dane County and the Southern Region can be red.
Phase 3 will be continued until widespread protections are available (i.e., vaccine).
Dane County COVID-19 Death Data
There are a few ways to examine COVID-19 deaths. This fact sheet explains the different calculations and shares data on deaths through August 18, 2020.
Do these numbers reflect everyone who has COVID-19 in Dane County?
No. Healthcare systems evaluate their staffing, testing supplies, and current symptoms of an individual and their risk factors (e.g., age, underlying health conditions) to prioritize who is tested. Additionally, some people have no or very mild symptoms and don’t get tested. As a result, there are people who have COVID-19 who were not tested. See our testing page for the latest information on testing.
Is there a version for mobile devices?
This lighter version is more mobile compatible, but only shows a few data points.
How do you calculate the number of people tested?
We receive testing data from public and private laboratories via a statewide reporting system called the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System. We only receive reports on lab tests done for Dane County residents. Each test that enters our data system must be manually processed by our staff. As of 7/24/20, due to a high volume of tests conducted each day, we are now including negative tests on the dashboard that have entered our data system but have not yet been processed by our staff. Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests does not affect the timeliness of notification of test results. Numbers for recent dates are subject to change as tests continue to be processed.
The Total Tests box on the dashboard displays the total number of tests conducted (minus the current date), including multiple tests conducted for the same person and tests that have not yet been processed. The People Tested box displays the total number of individuals tested, only for tests that have been processed. When tests are processed they are assigned an ID number, and are matched to a person’s existing ID number if they have had a previous test.. The Tests by Date chart shows the total number of tests each day (including multiple tests for the same person) based on the date of the test result from 3/7/20 forward, and does not show tests for the current date. There were 69 COVID-19 tests prior to 3/7/20.
What if somebody gets tested more than once? Are they being counted each time?
A positive case is counted just once no matter how many tests that person has taken.
How do you calculate percent positivity?
Percent positive is calculated from the number of new positive tests divided by the number of total tests for each day. If someone has more than one positive test, only their first positive test is counted in the numerator, but all tests are counted in the denominator. The denominator is total tests rather than total people tested because percent positivity is also an indicator of testing capacity. We want people, especially those in high risk groups, to be tested more than once, and to include all those tests in our calculations to gauge the spread of COVID and to know whether enough testing is occurring.
What about antibody tests?
Antibody tests are not included in either our case counts or test counts.
How do you calculate the case count?
All case counts reflect the number of people who tested positive prior to the current date. The new and cumulative case count by date graph shows people who tested positive by the date the positive result was received, and does not show cases for the current date. People who test positive are only counted once, even if they have more than one positive test.
How do you calculate recovered cases?
Currently, there is neither a national or international definition of what it means to “recover” from COVID-19, nor a cure for COVID-19. We use "recovered" as a proxy for infectiousness. In absence of an established definition, prior to 6/23/20, we have been calculating “recovered” cases as those who have not died and it has been over 30 days since their date of symptom onset or first positive test. Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is now reporting recovered cases by county on their website, and their definition includes documentation of resolved symptoms or documentation of release from public health isolation. In order to be consistent with the state, as of 6/23/20, we will now be reporting “recovered” cases in the same way, which includes more cases than what we had previously been counting as “recovered.”
Why did the “Cases Ever Hospitalized” number increase but the number of Current COVID-19 Inpatients stayed the same?
The “Cases Ever Hospitalized” number is the cumulative number of Dane County residents who tested positive for COVID-19 that were reported being hospitalized to the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS). We only learn about hospitalizations that occur around the time of interview through this reporting mechanism, and therefore this is a likely underestimate of hospitalizations.
The “Current COVID-19 Inpatients” and “Current COVID-19 Patients in ICU” numbers are reported by hospitals in Dane County to a different system called EMResource; these numbers can include patients who are not Dane County residents.
If the cumulative number of hospitalizations increases but the current number of inpatients stays the same or decreases, there could have been more discharges than new patients admitted. Additionally, if the cumulative number of hospitalizations stays the same but the current number increases, a non-Dane County resident may have been hospitalized, or that patient may have not yet been reported to WEDSS.
Where can I find the date of death for COVID-19 deaths among Dane County residents?
This can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ website; scroll to “Number of reported COVID-19 deaths by date of death” and select “Dane County.”
When is a death added to the dashboard?
Unless we receive a record from a medical facility or medical examiner indicating that the death is due to COVID-19, our practice is to wait for a death certificate to confirm whether COVID-19 was listed on the death certificate as an underlying or contributing cause of death. Often death certificates are available a few weeks after death. When an autopsy is performed, death certificates can take many months to be completed.
Are UW student positive cases included in the average number of cases? If yes, why?
- Yes, UW students are included in our dashboard totals. We use the most updated population denominator for Dane County, which is 546,695 as of July 2019. Per census rules, students would be included in this population count, as “college students who live away from home should be counted at the on- or off- campus residence where they live and sleep most of the time.” We use 546,695 to calculate rates for Dane County, which includes students.
- Keep in mind, we report differently than UW does on their dashboard. We assign based on date of test result, but they assign based on date they learn about the case. The positive tests from the university testing sites are included in our numbers, but the dates don’t always align perfectly.
- UW-Madison is not an island. An increase in cases on campus may impact the surrounding community, including populations at higher risk of exposure (e.g., essential workers) and populations more vulnerable to severe COVID illness (e.g., people of color, people aged 65 and older, and people with chronic conditions). As a reminder, Public Health Madison & Dane County does not have authority to inform reopening plans for UW since they are a state government entity.