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DELAWARE’S COVID-19 DATA DASHBOARD Opportunities and Successes: How Well Does Delaware’s Data Tool Allow for an Accurate and Timely Response to the Pandemic?

Report Details

Report Description: 
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed our lives in ways we never imagined and created much economic uncertainty in its wake. Government-imposed closures and restrictions necessary to prevent widespread community transmission of the virus have also wreaked havoc on our economy and will have a lasting impact on state finances. While the federal government provided more than a billion dollars in pandemic relief to Delaware, our state, like others, has been mostly on its own to develop mitigation strategies. In July 2020, I led a multistate taskforce to develop a consistent tool for fiscal watchdogs to assess how each state has approached data collection, reporting, and monitoring of coronavirus cases, both individually and collectively. The intent was to provide a way for states to determine the quality of the data they use to make policy decisions, take health actions, and where to invest resources to control virus spread. The Auditor’s Office is currently working together with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) to undertake this important engagement. Since ensuring data quality is vital to successfully mitigating the health and economic impacts of the pandemic, I felt it necessary to find other ways to assess the performance of Delaware’s pandemic response. This special report provides a comprehensive review of Delaware’s data dashboard that tracks and analyses coronavirus case data. It compares Delaware’s dashboard to other states’ dashboards and against 15 indicators that a group led by former CDC Director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, deemed essential for success. The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and the American Public Health Association have also endorsed these indicators. My report focuses on the state’s response in the early stages of the pandemic – from the first reported positive case in March through June 30, 2020. However, we acknowledge that Delaware has made tremendous improvements since this period. Although we conducted a statewide survey of the long-term care community and engaged with DHSS staff for this project, our research was mainly limited to data and materials available online. State officials and health professionals rely on Delaware’s dashboard to make policy decisions. Our hope is that the findings and recommendations contained in this report help improve ours. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. Sincerely, Kathy McGuiness, RPh, CFE
Date Issued: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Agency Reviewed / Investigated: 
United States
Type of Report: 
Professional Standard: 
Special Projects: 

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