Breaking News
More () »

IDOH replacing test tracking with wastewater surveillance on COVID-19 dashboard

Wastewater surveillance can provide an early warning that COVID-19 is spreading in a community.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) announced Thursday that its COVID-19 dashboard will be changing to reflect new publishing schedules and additional surveillance tools.

Beginning this week, the coronavirus dashboards at www.coronavirus.in.gov will be updated each Wednesday by 5 p.m. to align with the national shift to evaluate weekly metrics rather than daily case counts. The change will ensure that trends in COVID-19 activity remain available to the public and health care providers to help inform decisions.

Breakthrough case counts and hospitalizations have been removed from the vaccine dashboard at www.ourshot.in.gov and from the youth dashboard because widespread use of at-home tests, new variants and updated vaccines no longer provide a clear picture of breakthrough cases. 

Instead, IDOH also has added a new wastewater surveillance dashboard that shows the results of SARS-CoV-2 tests conducted on untreated wastewater. People infected with the virus can shed it in their stool even if they do not have symptoms, so wastewater surveillance can provide early warning if COVID-19 is spreading in a community.

RELATED: Colleges combating coronavirus turn to stinky savior: sewage

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made changes to our dashboards to ensure we are providing information that most accurately reflects the current situation so that individuals and communities can take steps to protect themselves and their families,” said Dr. Kris Box, who serves as Indiana's health commissioner. “These adjustments allow us to better evaluate COVID-19 activity in communities at a time when many cases go unreported due to the high use of home tests.”

In addition to the changes to the COVID-19 dashboards, IDOH has shifted to weekly updates of its monkeypox dashboard to reflect declining case counts.

RELATED: Breakthrough cases remain ‘extremely low’ for fully vaccinated Hoosiers

What other people are reading: 

Before You Leave, Check This Out