District Health Department No. 10 announced its launch of monthly COVID-19 County Profiles on Monday.
“We wanted to answer the primary questions we’ve receive from the public,” said Jeannine Taylor, public information officer. “We thought that specific data would be good to offer on a monthly basis and is feasible to do regularly.”
The profiles break down new confirmed cases, probable cases, inpatients and deaths for each of it’s 10 counties through the end of each month.
Mason County’s July profile shows 39 new cases, 6 probable cases and no new inpatients or deaths.
While the majority of the information is already available on the health department’s data dashboard, the profiles include additional information for each county.
The new information includes sections for symptomatic versus asymptomatic cases, the most common symptoms for each case, the number of inpatients and the known sources of exposure.
Taylor said many people want to know how the confirmed cases contracted COVID-19 — whether it was due to an outbreak, someone in the household or if it was unknown.
“These (profiles) give a little more detail and insight into these case,” she said.
The profiles also have sections addressing ages for the confirmed cases and graphs of the confirmed cases broken down by each week.
Taylor said the health department provides the information and leaves the interpretation to the readers.
“We aren’t making specific statements, but people can look at the data that wasn’t previously provided… and decide for themselves,” she said. “We hoped to have this information sooner, but with the size of our jurisdiction, it was difficult until now. Now we have a template that we are confident will make the data clear.”
On the July profile, the date the state-wide mask mandate was issued was added to the “Confirmed Cases by Week” for people to compare how many cases there were before and after.
“People will be able to see if it made a difference,” Taylor said. “We encourage people to dig in and compare their counties to others and the jurisdiction summary to see where they are at. Some counties have named outbreaks while others don’t, so some are a little bit different.”
Race and ethnicity were not included on the county profiles, but are on the jurisdiction summary.
“We only have race/ethnicity on the jurisdiction-wide summary because our communities we cover are small and rural. If we included that information, it’s possible people could be identified,” she said.
The health department decided to publish the profiles separately — and not simply added the data to the dashboard — so it’s more mobile-friendly, she said.
“The dashboard is not as user-friendly,” Taylor said. “(The profiles) are a simple way to get into the data without having to dig to put the numbers together. The dashboard is a great tool... but the profiles are more accessable.”
The profiles will be available about a week into the next month, she said. The health department will continue to put together and release the summaries until the data is no longer relevant or requested by communities.
“I hope people find the information insightful,” she said.
To find the monthly profiles, visit the health department’s coronavirus page, www.dhd10.org/coronavirus.