COLLEGE STATION, Texas — After stricter lock downs earlier this year, Texas has gradually loosened regulations.
With those looser regulation though, comes more COVID-19 cases.
While there’s a few ways to track those cases already, The University of Texas at Austin’s top epidemiologists have made their own dashboard for millions of Texans.
As Texans are trying to get back to their normal routines as the pandemic drags on, experts at UT Austin are using their new COVID-19 Dashboard for Texas to track COVID-19 trends.
“It can help understand the situation in their communities and help them protect their communities,” said Lauren Ancel Meyers, UT's Modeling Consortium Director and Denton A. Cooley Centennial Professor in the Departments of Integrative Biology and Statistics and Data Sciences.
Based on UT’s site for the city of Austin, the dashboard’s available for citizens and decision-makers in schools and counties across 22 Trauma Service Areas (TSA's), or really, cities in Texas.
The dashboard shows reproduction numbers or how quickly the virus is spreading and ICU patient numbers, among other data.
That data is separate from what we’ve seen from Texas A&M’s University Dashboard and the Brazos County Health District.
“We are not looking at case counts or test positivity. We are only looking at hospitalization data," Meyers said, "we find that data to be a much more reliable indicator of how the virus is spreading and what the burden is in our hospitals and in our communities.”
They also use cellphone data to look at where people are possibly spreading COVID-19.
So how is the Brazos Valley doing?
As of September 15, 2020, Bryan-College Station’s reproduction number is at less than one, putting the area in good shape, according to UT Austin.
The number of ICU patients is also trending downward.
“The spread of this virus, the threat to our communities really depends on the decisions we make," Meyers said, "it’s all of our responsibilities to take care of ourselves and our communities.
Meyers says that wearing your masks and following hygiene guidelines we’ve heard time and again will be what keeps those numbers at a good place.
UT Austin also noted they are planning a new dashboard for Texas schools in the near future.