Health Department adds dashboard for current statistics of COVID-19 cases in Joplin

Staff Writer
Neosho Daily News

With coronavirus numbers continuing to increase in our area, the City’s Health Department has developed  a centralized location to view current statistics within Joplin. This dashboard was created by Health Department staff to provide insight to different categories related to the pandemic.

“We want to give the public a broader view of the COVID cases involving our work with cases,” said Dan Pekarek, Director of the Health Department. “A total number of cases is good information; however we also want to ensure that the public understands how many of these are active cases, which means these individuals are in isolation due to having symptoms now.”

Also included in the dashboard figures are the number of quarantined individuals. Pekarek explained that this number relates to those people who have been in contact with individuals who have tested positive. Contacts are advised to self- quarantine for a period of up to 14 days, so they don’t spread the virus during this monitoring period. They are also called twice daily by health officials to monitor their symptoms after possible exposure.

Another stat on the dashboard is the total of Joplin residents of the active cases who are currently hospitalized. Please note that the hospitals may release COVID-19 statistics also, but these would include patients from various areas, not just Joplin residents. The inactive case number on the board indicates the number of individuals who have recovered from the virus. There is also a place to state the number of deaths of Joplin residents related to coronavirus.

The chart on the dashboard provides an illustration of the movement of active cases from current date since March 23, when Joplin received notification of its first confirmed positive individual.

“The dashboard is a tool that many communities have begun to use to show their residents the numbers of cases and the rate of spread,” said Pekarek. “It is helpful for some to see this in simple stats and a pictorial chart as it depicts the growth in our cases.”

The dashboard can be found on the City’s website at . Please scroll down to see the full graphics. The data will be updated by noon Monday through Friday with the previous day’s totals.

There are other ways the Health Department is reviewing the data and may be able to add other charts as resources allow. “Our staff has been working diligently on taking care of our citizens through this public health pandemic, but we also understand that this type of information is helpful. We hope to add some additional data in the near future.”

Pekarek reminds the public that to help slow the spread, they should practice the preventative measures that are part of the self-care initiative, which helps all of our community.

Health Department staff encourage everyone to do their part to slow the spread of the virus. This includes these simple measures:

Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet away from others.

If you cannot socially distance in a location, it is recommended to wear a mask.

Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.

Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.