Weber State University’s Center for Community Engaged Learning Research Extension (CCEL-RE), an office created to meet data and research needs of community partners and nonprofit organizations, has launched an online dashboard to provide a better picture of exactly how the pandemic has impacted residents of Weber County. The dashboard features charts and graphs with data regarding hospitalizations, unemployment rates, evictions and more.
“More than 500,000 people in the United States have died, and some kids have been out of school since March 2020, learning virtually,” said Katharine French-Fuller, CCEL-RE director. “We need to have a comprehensive understanding of how this is impacting our community.”
Weber State researchers plan to update the dashboard monthly and insert new data as it becomes available. They hope to soon add a heat map to show eviction rates by location in the county.
CCEL-RE collects information from a variety of sources, including government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Much of the data shows a severe impact on women and people of color, French-Fuller said.
“We have aggregated the data for hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases by ethnicity, gender and language spoken by the patient, and all of that helps us understand the inequity,” said Yesenia Quintana, data and community research coordinator.
As the dashboard went online in February, females had a higher number of total COVID-19 cases (13,208) than males (12,157). Compared to residents who identify as white, residents who are American Indian or Native Alaskan were four times as likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19, while Hispanic/Latinx residents were three times as likely to be hospitalized.
While the dashboard helps show which areas and populations have been hit the hardest, it doesn’t explain how those issues were caused. Researchers hope local agencies and academics will use the data to discover ways to help find solutions to the difficult issues that residents are facing.
The dashboard can be accessed at https://www.weber.edu/ccel/covid-dashboard.html.