EKU releases COVID-19 dashboard

Eastern Kentucky University introduced a COVID-19 dashboard on Aug. 21 that would detail the number of cases reported on campus.

The dashboard includes all positive cases from Aug. 1 to Aug. 21. The data is separated between non-residential students, residential students, and employees. According to the dashboard, as of Aug. 21 there are 25 active cases. Nine non-residential students, 11 residential students, six employees, and one unspecified person have tested positive for COVID-19. Two people have recovered.

EKU Athletics’ cases from July are not included in the dashboard numbers, and instead have been recorded separately, said Kristi Middleton, chief external affairs officer.

“The cases from athletics will be included in the numbers on the dashboard but the dashboard that is published now has data that starts with a date of Aug. 1. Some of the tests from athletics came in July, so athletics has been tracking those separately,” Middleton said.“...So any athletics cases from Aug. 1 through now are included.”

Since July 17, athletics have reported 17 new COVID-19 cases out of 409 tests.

Middleton said information about positive cases is given multiple ways, one of which is through a monitoring form that students and faculty are encouraged to fill out whether they test positive or negative. The form was sent in a campus wide email on Aug. 21 and is also accessible on the EKU website.

“Our first priority is that people will self report it to us and make sure that they notify us that they have a positive case as soon as possible so we can make sure that we do contact tracing,” Middleton said.

If someone who tests positive does not fill out the monitoring form, EKU is working with local health departments through contact tracing regarding positive cases with anyone who has classes or works on campus.

The dashboard will be updated every Friday by noon; however, it is subject to change if necessary.

“We put a lot of thought into how the data was going to be collected, making sure we could verify it and then what exactly would be published,” Middleton said. “The first priority was making sure that it was not a violation of anyone's privacy.”

EKU has asked students and employees to do their part by wearing a face covering, using good hygiene, observing social distancing, staying home when sick and avoiding large gatherings.

“We wanted to make sure the information was general enough to provide information to campus because it is important for campus to be aware of possible risks they have on campus,” Middleton said.

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