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Oakland County launches new COVID-19 map, data

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published June 15, 2020

 A screen capture shows the ZIP code map the morning of June 15.

A screen capture shows the ZIP code map the morning of June 15.

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Each day, we learn of new cases of COVID-19 throughout Michigan. But how is the virus behaving in your hometown?

Oakland County Executive David Coulter said the county recently launched a new source of information to give residents a more real-time view of the virus in their community. 

The map, according to county officials, will provide a better understanding of how the virus is spreading by ZIP code. Available on the county’s COVID-19 data dashboard at oakgov.com/covid, the map shows recent COVID-19 cases confirmed within the past 30 days by ZIP code.

“Transparency and reliance on science and health is key to all phases of combatting a novel virus,” Coulter said in a statement. 

Oakland County Health Officer Leigh-Anne Stafford said the public can view the number of recent coronavirus cases by ZIP code and compare them to the overall total cases map, which provides an overall picture of how ZIP codes in the county have been impacted by COVID-19 from the beginning of the pandemic. Both maps are updated daily. 

“From the very beginning, we have looked at COVID cases across the county, so now that we are 14 weeks in — since March 13 — we thought it was really good that we have a snapshot of what is most recent, because as we start to open things back up and testing continues, we want to see … where we are seeing cases and if there are clusters of cases in a certain city, village or township, so this map will help us see that,” Stafford explained. “We can get a good look overall, since the beginning, and also what it looks like over the last 30 days, which is really important as we start to open up and see how things are progressing.”

County officials said they also made adjustments to the dashboard data to more accurately reflect the date a case is initially referred to Oakland County Health Division in an effort to help eliminate potential lag times between laboratory reporting and information transfers to the state reporting system. The correction, officials said, does not change the total number of cases or deaths to date in Oakland County and will better reflect the date of diagnosis instead of the date the result was reported in the state reporting system. 

“As I said when we first released a ZIP code map, the virus does not respect community boundaries, so everyone, everywhere must continue to follow safety protocols. As we reopen safely what slowed COVID-19 now keeps us safe: facial coverings, social distancing and testing,” Coulter said in a statement.

Stafford also encouraged people to continue to protect themselves from the virus.

“Even though we’re opening things back up, everyone should continue to wear a facial covering when they’re outside of their home, especially in large groups; wash their hands and stay home when they’re sick,” she said. 

For more information on COVID-19, visit www.oakgov.com/covid. Those with health-related questions are asked to call the nurse on call at (800) 848-5533 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For all other COVID-19 questions, contact the COVID-19 Help Hotline at (248) 858-1000 or hotline@oakgov.com. 

Call Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at (586) 498-1060.

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