Kent State received a C+ rating on a website that rates the COVID-19 dashboards of colleges across the country.
“A C+ rating is demonstrating the barely minimal effort to convey information about COVID. It’s not adequate and there’s tremendous room for improvement,” said Cary Gross, a Yale University professor of medicine and epidemiology who runs the website. “At the very least, they really need to be reporting on testing frequency, testing outcome, how many are tested every day, who is testing positive each day and how many kids are in quarantine. But I think all of our criteria are important.”
Kent State is working to improve the dashboard, said Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Manfred van Dulmen.
“We continue to work on (the dashboard) with IT. We’re also putting in our different metrics to make sure our databases line up. We’re hoping to have all that in place within the next two weeks,” van Dulmen said. “We’re hoping that after next week we will have updates on the dashboard based on the advice of our public health experts and others on campus.”
The website, We Rate Covid Dashboards, is operated by Gross and another Yale professor, Howard Forman. The website collaborates with other universities such as Baylor, Harvard and The Ohio State University.
“One of the most important ways for people to make informed decisions is to have the information that they need. The community members have a right to know what the COVID rate on campus is and how people are being tested,” Gross said. “The parents, family, faculty and staff have a right to know what’s going on on campus regarding COVID because they’re showing up to work or they’re sending their loved ones to the college and they need to know how safe things are.”
Kent State scored points for legibility, being updated daily, data presented and having a campus summary, but received zero points in five other categories. The university is ranked second to last out of the 16 Ohio universities rated on the website, ranking only above the University of Toledo.
“The onus is on the administration to make sure that they’re conveying all the information regarding COVID that people need,” Gross said. “Ohio is also seeing a pretty significant uptake in COVID and certainly Kent State is not going to be under a glass bubble, so they’re at an increased risk now, more so now than they were maybe a month or two ago.”
Megan Becker covers COVID-19. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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