Grays Harbor Public Health will no longer provide its own daily COVID updates for the county. Starting Monday, it shifted its reporting to the state’s Department of Health COVID-19 data dashboard. The website dashboard, with case counts and a variety of COVID statistics, is still available by going to the county health department’s website, but the numbers and graphics are a copy of what’s on the state site.
Because of this shift, the latest COVID numbers will not be available until later in the day, rather than the noon updates previously provided. The local department said it was duplicating information available from the state and this change will allow local workers to focus on other things related to the pandemic.
Public health will continue to update its county zip code case map every Friday. Transmission and ethnicity data will be updated every other Friday.
The most current data on the state dashboard Tuesday morning, using data from Sunday, had the county at 2,311 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 88 probable, for a total of 2,399. Using data provided by Grays Harbor Public Health Wednesday, Dec. 30, shows that 265 cases were added between then and Sunday.
The county reported three new COVID-19 related deaths Tuesday, Dec. 29, which brought the total deaths to 24. Tuesday, the state dashboard shows the county at 26 deaths, a rate of 1.1% of total cases. The discrepancy in death numbers is often attributed to delays in confirming death certifications between the state and county levels.
The county’s hospitalizations (116), percent of deaths to total cases (1.1%) and total molecular tests (28,335) are new additions to what was previously being reported on the county website. Clicking on the data will direct users to the information on the state’s COVID-19 website, where more detailed information can be obtained at county and state levels.
The change in reporting was announced on Dec. 17 and is being done in an attempt to streamline the process.
“We were duplicating efforts by reporting out what the state is already tracking,” the health department’s Nick Falley wrote in an email. “This is going to free up significant manpower to better investigate clusters and outbreaks locally.”
A data point that will be lost in the change is the reporting of local “active” cases, but Falley added that current activity is available through the state website.
“The Risk Assessment Dashboard on the Governor’s Website shows the disease activity for the past 14 days which helps to paint the picture of current disease activity,” he wrote.
To view current COVID-19 data for Grays Harbor County, visit healthygh.org/directory/covid19/casecount.
For Washington state COVID-19 information, visit the state website at doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/DataDashboard.