Feeling confused about medical care during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak? Here are answers:
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a serious public health risk. COVID-19 can cause mild to severe illness. Most severe illness occurs in older adults and individuals with underlying health conditions.
(updated weekly on Tuesday afternoons)
Green: Operating as expected/normal capacity • Yellow: Needs beginning to outpace capacity • Red: Stressed operations/critical concerns
Health Department Capacity
Sufficient staff for COVID-19 monitoring & follow-up
Capacity to investigate & trace contacts of all people testing positive for COVID-19 in a timely manner
Sufficient staff & supplies to screen & test everyone recommended for COVID-19 testing
Healthcare System Capacity
Sufficient hospital staff, beds, and equipment to treat patients with COVID-19 & all other patients safely
Monitoring Emergency Department visits for respiratory symptoms
Active COVID-19 cases in our regional service area (surrounding counties, northern Wyoming and the western Dakotas)
Weekly Average of Daily COVID-19 Cases
Daily new cases of COVID-19 per 100k people (7-day average, calculated Sunday through Saturday)
Weekly Average Positive COVID-19 Test Rate
Percentage of positive COVID-19 tests (7-day average, calculated Sunday through Saturday)
Along with the information provided on the Yellowstone County COVID-19 Dashboard, RiverStone Health releases surveillance data reports each Tuesday.
All Yellowstone County data on the attached graphs is collected from Sunday through Saturday. Each week is numbered following the numbering system used in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report includes epidemiology data useful for understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Yellowstone County.
In addition to the Yellowstone County COVID-19 Dashboard, there are metrics or indicators that assist Yellowstone County public health officials and education leaders make recommendations about in-person school instruction. There are four indicators:
• capacity of healthcare and public health systems:
• weekly average daily COVID-19 cases;
• weekly average positive COVID-19 test rate; and
• weekly case mix and clusters of cases in schools.
All but the last indicator is depicted on the Dashboard. Find more information about the indicators and risk reduction strategies here.
Data recording entry errors are sometimes made as numbers are added into a statewide computer reporting system. Those errors are reconciled and corrected each week at the county level. The state reconciles its numbers with the county’s data, but delays involved in the process can lead to discrepancies.
Case rates are computed by a standard 100,000 population number so that large counties and small counties can be easily compared in an “apples to apples” way. The weekly average daily case count per 100,000 is found by taking the number of cases per day, dividing it by 161,300 (the population of Yellowstone County), multiplied by 100,000, averaged over a 7-day period.
The weekly positivity rate equals the number of weekly positive tests divided by the total number of tests conducted that week.
This figure is broken down strictly by age and does not reflect actual attendance. The categories include Yellowstone County children who may be in school, home-schooled, or attending public or private schools. It also includes children too young for school, or who may have dropped out or graduated from school.
The MMWR numbers each week sequentially. The weeks run from Sunday to Saturday. The first week of the MMWR year is the first week that has at least four days in the calendar year. You can find out more, here: https://wwwn.cdc.gov/nndss/document/MMWR_Week_overview.pdf
Surveilling patient diseases provides public health officials with a timely system for detecting, understanding and monitoring health trends. By tracking symptoms of patients in emergency departments, we can detect unusual levels of illness to determine the appropriate response.
On the Disease Surveillance graph, the chief complaints, or symptoms, being tracked in our Yellowstone County emergency departments are fever or chills and at least one of these other symptoms: cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath.