Queensland Govt launches Covid-19 data tracking site

Queensland has become Australia’s fifth state to launch a Covid-19 data tracking website, providing daily reporting on coronavirus cases active across the state.

The website offers a detailed snapshot of active and recovered Covid-19 cases, together with analysis of case rates across hospitals and regions, sources of infection, and cases under investigation.

In an official statement, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the website provides communities better oversight of local case rates, with a visual display breaking down regional data by local government area.

“We know the Covid-19 situation is changing daily which is why we prioritised building this data site to keep Queenslanders informed,” Palaszczuk said. “The page will be updated daily, seven days a week, at approximately midday.”

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Steven Miles, said the Government has been recording Covid-19 data “since day one”.

Consolidating the dataset, the one-stop-shop website provides “streamlined access to the latest pandemic health data”, Miles said

Among its features, the website provides accompanying graphs to track new cases over the last 24 hours; total case numbers at any given time are also tabulated.

Additional tracking data is shared for total samples tested, active and recovered cases, age and gender of confirmed cases, and cases specified by the local government area.

The data is supported by mapping and cumulative graphs and statistics on self-quarantine.

However, due to its lack of real-time functionality, data displayed on the site is strictly “point-in-time” (with scheduled updates at midday), the Government acknowledged, “subject to change as additional information is obtained”.

The unfortunate lag in the public reporting of certain data is a notable caveat of the site; however, it was deemed necessary owing to mandated data quality assurance processes, ongoing maintenance, and updating of notification details.

“Daily case counts may vary over time due to ongoing investigations and case review,” the website said.

To ensure privacy and confidentiality, hospitalisation data is being reported at the state level.

“Where the case normally resides in another State/Territory in Australia but is quarantined in Queensland at the time of notification, the case is not included in Queensland’s case numbers.

“Where the case normally resides overseas but is quarantined in Queensland at the time of notification, the case is included in Queensland’s case numbers.”

Under the reporting mechanism, information on mortalities related to Covid-19 is made available by clinicians following completion of a death certificate.

“There may be a delay in obtaining and reporting this information. Therefore, the completeness, or any other attributes of Covid-related death data, should be interpreted with caution,” the website said.

The Australian Government, in an earlier launch, deployed its own nation-wide coronavirus tracking service. The site is regularly updated, offering coronavirus news, updates, and advice from government agencies across Australia. Details are also provided on emergency assistance and support.

NSW Health also offers similar reporting service, as does VictoriaWestern Australia and Tasmania.