The dashboard isn’t enough

Rhonda Wheeler, Editor-in-Chief

Universities around Indiana created a COVID dashboard so the campus and the community can keep up to date about the number of cases on campus.

The issue is by the time the universities update the dashboards, it’s been at least a week.

We didn’t find out about how many cases happened over Labor Day weekend until Sept. 18, 11 days after Labor Day. Since Labor Day weekend is known as a time to party, I was anxiously waiting for the dashboard to update with those numbers.

This isn’t just at USI, Indiana University (IU) doesn’t show positive cases until a week later as well.

USI seems to be doing better than IU as far as positive cases go. According to their weekly trends, IU had 711 positive tests results since Aug. 16 for symptomatic cases. 

Since Aug. 16, USI has 101 positive cases. Since March, we’ve had 123 total cases among students and employees. 

While it is important to know what’s going on around campus and how many positive cases there are, by the time this information comes out, it’s almost too late to do anything.

Symptoms take 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus to appear, according to the CDC. It’s hard enough to tell whether or not someone has COVID because the symptoms can be mild or severe. 

There is contact tracing, but there still needs to be more transparency.

Indiana State University’s COVID dashboard is updated Monday-Friday at noon. Their dashboard shows how many students are currently isolating on campus, off-campus and employees who are isolating with active COVID cases. 

They also explain in what situations a student would either have to quarantine or isolate themselves.  

It’s stressful to wonder if the person, who hasn’t been in class, is quarantining because they have COVID-19 or if they’re worried because they’ve shown symptoms and are waiting for their test results.

This is a scary time for everyone and we’re still figuring out how to navigate around a pandemic. This is something we’ve never had to do before and we’re all figuring this out as we go. 

Unless the community is able to stay aware of what’s going on within a decent amount of time, anxiety and uncertainty will rise as well as ignorance.