Even before there was a coronavirus state of emergency, there was a daily Department of Public Health coronavirus data report or dashboard. Now, with the state of emergency weeks in the past and COVID-19 metrics at record low levels, DPH plans to stop publishing new data seven days a week.
The daily interactive dashboard that tallies cases, deaths, hospitalizations and more, and the daily vaccination report that DPH publishes will be published only Monday through Friday beginning July 1, DPH announced Wednesday. Weekend data will be included in each Monday report.
DPH said the change is being made "to reflect the improving trends in COVID-19 activity in the Commonwealth."
As of Thursday, DPH is also getting rid of the green, yellow and red color-coding system it used to denote the relative risk of COVID-19 transmission in cities and towns, though it will continue to report municipal-level data weekly.
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Higher education metrics will be updated weekly instead of daily and most sections of the interactive dashboard will display the last four weeks of information with complete data available in archives.
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DPH began sharing COVID-19 case information on a daily basis and in a consistent format beginning March 9, 2020, when there was one confirmed case and 40 presumptive cases in the Bay State.
As the pandemic worsened and the demand for a greater level of understanding grew, DPH reformatted its daily report a handful of times. With the exception of holidays and during a data system upgrade, DPH published a new report every day throughout the state of emergency and since it ended.
DPH said it will post its data dashboard at 5 p.m. each weekday and will post its weekly vaccination dashboard and municipality data on Thursdays at 5 p.m. There will be no daily dashboard update on Monday, July 5 -- DPH said the update it will post Tuesday will include data from July 3, 4 and 5.