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3News sits down with Case Western Reserve University student behind new COVID-19 dashboard

The public dashboard is hyper focused on the city of Cleveland and breaks down data by zip code, age, ethnicity, and other categories.

CLEVELAND — A new COVID-19 tracker that is hyper-focused on the city of Cleveland was recently created by students at Case Western Reserve University.

The unique dashboard breaks down cases not just by counties, but by zip code.

“The focus here is to show how Cleveland as a city is doing,” computer science undergrad at Case Western Reserve University Austin Wilson said.

With the partnership of Cleveland’s Department of Health, by just moving your mouse across the board, the latest data of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths within the city of Cleveland are all in one location.

“All the data here is a snapshot of how COVID is here in the city, less more about us saying ‘This is a bad area’,” Wilson said.

3News Reporter Marisa Saenz sat down with Wilson- who was just a junior when the dashboard project began.

“It took the whole spring semester to get a good demo to work,” Wilson said.

After coding for hours, weeks and months into the summer, the public dashboard launched just before Christmas.

“It’s really a tool, that’s really what it is,” Wilson said.

That’s what people like Kelli Cholewa use it for.

Cholewa caught the virus in early December but wasn’t sure exactly how she contracted it.

“My symptoms started with kind of a tickle in my throat Saturday, and Saturday night my throat was really hurting,” Cholewa said. “I have no idea where or how I caught it.”

While understanding the precautions, Cholewa sees the dashboard- which is updated daily- as a tool to know the latest of where the virus is possibly where not to temporarily be or hang out.

“To kind of see how the city as a whole is doing,” Cholewa said. “To know where maybe not to go for the day or the weekend.”

Which is the reason Wilson and his team said they created the program in the first place.

“[This will] just let people ingest the data and make conclusions for themselves,” Wilson said.

Wilson told 3News that the team is working to expand the dashboard to include data about vaccines too.


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