RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced it will be altering and retiring some of the data provided on its COVID-19 data dashboard.
NCDHHS said in a statement that it will continue to “track data and monitor COVID-19” but it will be incorporated with other respiratory illness data.
“While we continue to see illness and deaths from COVID-19, it is no longer the threat it once was thanks to testing, vaccines and treatment,” said Dr. Susan Kansagra, director of the NCDHHS Division of Public Health. “As we evolve our response to the more routine nature of COVID-19 going forward, these indicators will help us monitor our health care capacity from respiratory illness including COVID-19 and adjust our response if needed.”
The change to the site comes a little more than a year after NCDHHS announced it would no longer be giving daily metric updates on its dashboard.
The North Carolina Respiratory Illness Summary Dashboard will have three graphs tracking respiratory illnesses like COVID, influenza and RSV, new COVID and influenza hospitalizations, as well as wastewater surveillance. The summary dashboard will also have links to COVID cases, deaths and variants.
“COVID-19 vaccination data will move to a monthly update, as numbers are not changing as rapidly, and it will retire May 31. Vaccination data will continue to be available from the CDC after this time,” NCDHHS’ statement says.
NCDHHS said reports on COVID-19 patients presumed to be recovered, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status, and COVID-19 outbreaks in congregate living settings will all be “retiring” this month.
The last time NCDHHS updated the presumed recovered report was Jan. 29, 2023. The report is supposed to be updated every Wednesday by 4 pm. According to the January report, 3,371,565 North Carolinians were presumed to have recovered from a case of COVID.
The data dashboard’s tracking of cases and deaths shows there have been 3,486,611 cases in North Carolina since the start of the pandemic through Mar. 11, 2023. In the last three months, the data shows 147,595 cases reported.
The dashboard also shows 28,540 deaths for the same time period with 666 of those deaths occurring in the last three months.
NCDHHS defines a COVID death as someone who had a positive test who dies without recovering from COVID-19 and had no listed alternative cause of death. The definition also notes that after Jan. 1, 2022, a COVID death is someone reported as having a case of the illness and has COVID-19 listed as the primary cause of death.
The dashboard will also be dropping the CDC COVID-19 community levels and directs the public to check CDC’s COVID Data Tracker site for information. On March 31, NCDHHS ended its community testing sites.