Dashboard Update

April 16, 2021

We’re making some important, and we hope, helpful changes to our dashboard and want you to be aware of them.

About the Dashboard

The dashboard is updated between normal business hours. The metrics team updates it when they receive notice of additional Broad Institute positive results. When the College communicates about data, the information represents a point in time and is the most accurate and up-to-date information which may not be reflected on the dashboard fully.

Test Received Dates

Up until now, the date reflected on the dashboard for when a positive test is registered has been the date and time that Broad internally “resulted” the test. That date and time is usually several hours prior to when we actually receive the results in our systems at Holy Cross. We are changing the reporting process to now show results on the dashboard by the date and time they are received at the College. You may notice that this will cause some results that post around midnight to move to different days when we complete the update.

New Dashboard Pane

We are introducing a new pane to the dashboard. This pane reflects three important metrics that impact our decision making process. Previously, we showed only positive test results that we received through our surveillance testing program with the Broad. Two metrics that we’ve used internally, but have not shown publicly, are now being added to the dashboard.

Dahsboard 1 sample

Inconclusive Metric

The new pane will add “inconclusive” test results. Tests flagged as inconclusive are ones in which the actual result is uncertain. Inconclusive results indicate a presence of COVID viral RNA that may be associated with an early or current infection approximately 15% of the time, but can also be related to previous infection or environmental contamination. Students can be counted as an inconclusive test first and later counted as a positive test when we receive a conclusive result. 

External Tests

The College receives external test results from students who elect to quarantine from home, or who decide to get testing outside our surveillance program on weekends. In the past, the frequency of external tests were small enough that they did not impact overall trends and decisions, so they were not included in the public view. Recently this has changed, and we now receive a significant amount of external tests. Note that external reports will typically be reflected on the dashboard for the previous days testing, so expect these to be delayed up to 24 hours. If an external test is confirmed with a Broad positive test, the external test will be removed from the dashboard and replaced with the Broad positive test.

Moving Average Chart

Lastly, we’re introducing a graph of the moving 7 day average of internal and external positive tests. This new chart will help visualize the trends we’re seeing on campus.

Dashboard sample 2

We hope this helps give a clearer picture of the status of the pandemic on our campus.