Reviewing the COVID-19 Data Tracker
Posted on July 14, 2022 by Kari Everson
Providers across the state must utilize data per regulatory requirements to help determine specific COVID-19 protocols, yet many data sources from different regulators can confuse the process.
Current guidance regarding the use of eye protection and mask in long-term care is contingent upon the community transmission level in your county. When working with residents who do not have confirmed or suspected COVID-19, face masks and eye protection should be worn in counties with substantial (orange) or high (red) transmission rates. For those counties with moderate (yellow) and low (blue) transmission rates, face masks are required and eye protection is optional.
Some organizations are not using the correct CDC Covid Data Tracker map. Two maps look very similar, and it may be confusing as to what options to choose to navigate to the right map. One is the map we should use, and the colors reflecting different community transmission levels are red, orange, yellow, and blue.
There is another map for public use in non-healthcare settings, and that map has red, yellow, and green colors. Therefore, if you have been referencing a map with green on it, you have not been using the correct data to determine your protocol.
To navigate to the correct map, go to the CDC Covid Data Tracker and scroll down to the map. You will see two drop-down menus. These menus are Data Type and Map Metric. Under data type, select community transmission. Under map metric, select community transmission. This will pull up the correct map. Do not select COVID-19 community levels, as this is not the map we should use in healthcare settings.
The CDC also published an update on how to transition eye protection use, and the Department of Health has the source control grid resource. When a facility's transmission levels decrease to moderate or low transmission levels, that means they can relax an intervention such as eye protection; the organization should confirm the reduction is sustained by monitoring the transmission rate for at least two weeks before relaxing the intervention.