Penn will not report its daily COVID-19 case count for the next few weeks as the University shifts all data related to coronavirus testing to the central Penn Coronavirus website.
Top Penn health officials apologized for the temporary removal of the daily statistics from the University's website, citing technological difficulties in the transition to the new platform.
Previously, the Wellness Services FAQ page provided numbers on daily positive COVID-19 cases reported at the Houston Hall testing site, the total number of people tested, and the positivity rate. Penn has now moved the data to the COVID-19 Dashboard and is currently only reporting weekly positive results.
Chief Wellness Officer Benoit Dubé wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian that during the transition from the Wellness website to the COVID-19 Dashboard, Penn lost the ability to share daily numbers. He added that Penn will roll out data on daily case counts, as well as “new reports,” over the next few weeks.
“I apologize for this temporary inability to access this information as we make technology adjustments behind the scene,” Dubé wrote.
The DP has created a Penn COVID-19 tracker featuring automatically updated graphs of the positive case count at Penn since the week of Aug. 8, and cumulative case count across the student body domestically and internationally since April 20.
As of Sept. 5, the overall positivity rate is 0.68%, with 68 confirmed COVID-19 cases out of 10,065 total tests conducted at Houston Hall. In the first week of September, Penn reported 26 cases. The week before classes began saw the highest number of cases in a week at 33 and also the highest positivity rate at 0.85%.
"Going forward, the University will offer additional relevant information in this dashboard as programs and data capabilities evolve," the COVID-19 Dashboard reads.
To mitigate the spread of coronavirus, Penn announced last Friday the University will administer on-going testing throughout the semester for symptomatic and select asymptomatic students, faculty, postdoctoral students, and staff. Those who are present on campus for at least eight hours every week, whose activities are done in a congregate setting that involves at least 10 people, or who share a residential space with three or more individuals with whom they are not related, including those who live in College Houses, will be be required to enroll in surveillance testing, according to an email Dubé sent to the Penn community on Friday.
Penn will begin sending invitations to these asymptomatic individuals to partake in surveillance testing on Sept. 14, Dubé wrote.
The daily symptom tracker PennOpen Pass also allows the University to identify individuals with potential exposure to coronavirus and refer them to Houston Hall for testing, based on the timing of the exposure and assessment of the risk of infection, Dubé wrote.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.