Cal Poly’s COVID-19 Dashboard now includes the number of students who have tested positive for COVID-19 after university officials updated it with new categeories Friday, Jan. 14.
Before the update, the dashboard showed the total number of COVID-positive tests performed. Now, the dashboard also breaks down the number of individual on- and off-campus students who have tested positive.
The updated dashboard includes a rolling figure for the number of students who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours and the last seven days. The dashboard’s update does not include how many total students have tested positive for COVID-19 since Jan. 3, the beginning of the winter quarter.
There are more positive tests than positive cases because some people require multiple COVID-19 tests to confirm prior results or determine whether they are still infectious, a note on the campus dashboard said.
“We thought, this kind of inflates our perceived data,” said Aydin Nazmi, one of the university’s experts guiding COVID-19 policies. “It doesn’t inflate our regular data because it says right there, that unit of measurement is tests.”
It took “a little bit of algorithmic gymnastics,” Nazmi said, to find the number of students who tested positive through Cal Poly’s two coronavirus testing sites — saliva testing at the University Union and PCR testing at the Health Center.
He and his team began hearing that community members would like to see the number of students who tested positive for the coronavirus, not just the number of positive tests. He didn’t know when he and his team first started hearing that sentiment, Nazmi told Mustang News.
As of Tuesday, Jan. 18, the dashboard showed 104 on-campus students tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week.