Navigating Baylor’s COVID-19 Dashboard

Nate Smith | Broadcast Reporter

Baylor recently made a few changes to the COVID-19 dashboard, including the addition of a statistic labeled “Surveillance Positivity.” This comes on the heels of the university implementing their first round of COVID-19 surveillance testing.

“When we say surveillance testing, really what we’re talking about is the random testing of 5% of students, faculty, staff and contractors on a weekly basis,” Jason Cook, Baylor’s Vice President for Marketing and Communications, said. “What that’s going to allow us to do is to determine the true prevalence of COVID-19 on our campus. We added that figure to the dashboard on Friday in an effort of being open and transparent [and] to give a true representation of what COVID is on our campus”

In comparison to the COVID dashboards of other prominent Texas universities such as TCU, Texas Tech and the University of Texas, Baylor’s dashboard offers a much more detailed look at the COVID-19 situation on their campus.

The wide array of numbers and statistics that are thrown in when looking at the COVID-19 dashboard can lead to confusion, but according to Cook, context is key when deciphering these numbers.

“I think the key is not to zero in on any type of arbitrary numbers or single number that’s on the dashboard,” said Cook. “It’s really looking at ‘can Baylor effectively prevent, manage and mitigate COVID-19 on our campus.’”

Baylor just recorded its lowest 3 day total for new COVID-19 cases since the start of the fall semester, with the number of new cases dropping to as low as nine on Saturday September 5th.

This makes the number of new positive cases at Baylor in recent days comparable to the numbers at the schools previously mentioned. This comes despite the fact that Baylor is the only one of those institutions who is currently implementing surveillance testing.