ACHI adds trend information to school district-level COVID-19 data


The health policy center's website shows where cases are increasing and decreasing ahead of school openings

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- The Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) enhanced its COVID-19 webpage Thursday with trend information on new cases in Arkansas’s public school districts.

The page previously provided the cumulative and active case counts within the geographic boundaries of the school districts, along with community-level case counts and testing rates by county.

Starting Thursday, ACHI replaced active cases per district with new cases per district, displayed as the rate of new cases over the past two weeks per 10,000 residents of the district.

ACHI also displays the 14-day rates from the previous three weeks to show trends over time.

“This information is intended to inform decision-makers, including policymakers, school personnel, and parents, about the level of risk in each school district and whether the risk is increasing or decreasing,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “With schools across the state set to open next week, we believe it is important that decisions be informed by the best available data.”

The rates of new cases by district are color-coded to signify risk levels. ACHI officials say rates that indicate the highest level of risk, a 14-day new case rate of 50 or more per 10,000 residents, are shown in red.

ACHI officials say the data is current as of August 17 and they plan to provide weekly updates.

ACHI is providing the information in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Health, the Arkansas Department of Education and the Arkansas GIS Office.

Officials say population estimates for the school districts are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2014-2018.

According to officials, the case counts include children and adults, but do not include nursing home or incarcerated populations.

Officials say counts are not given for districts or communities with fewer than 10 cases to minimize the risk of identifying individuals.

To see the site, click here.


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