Both the Madison County Health Department and Eastern Kentucky University are working together in gathering COVID-19 case count information, but each organization uses different criteria and separate reporting platforms. These criteria will result in numbers appearing to differ between the two organizations.
The Madison County Health Department (MCHD) provides a COVID-19 case count each weekday via social media platforms. Information provided includes new cases as of the close of business on the previous day, total cases, the cases currently hospitalized, the cases recovering at home, the total number of deaths, and the total number of cases who have recovered.
MCHD tracks cases by individual name, not by the number of tests. Multiple tests for a single individual are counted as a single case. (A Frequently Asked Questions page can be found at https://bit.ly/MCHDC19FAQ).
MCHD and other healthcare agencies are bound by HIPAA regulations and cannot share names, ages, and other identifiable information to the public. Public officials like the Governor are not bound by these regulations, and sometimes share some of this information. Links to HIPAA regulations can be found at https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-individuals/index.html or https://cphs.berkeley.edu/hipaa/hipaa18.html.
“Our goal is to be transparent and give our communities a sense of what we are experiencing so that everyone can make informed decisions about their personal safety,” said EKU Executive Director of Public Safety and Risk Management Dr. Bryan Makinen.
Eastern Kentucky University provides information on their own dashboard at https://staywell.eku.edu/dashboard. This dashboard outlines the total number of residential students, non-residential students, employees and others who have self-reported positive and/or presumed positive results to the university. This also includes cases where a health department or healthcare provider has notified the university of positive cases. Model Laboratory School will be counted separately due to the nature of operating as a K-12 school district.
EKU counts every person (student, faculty, staff member, and other affiliated individuals) associated with the university regardless of their recovery location. MCHD does not count a student who is recovering at home in a different county.
For more information on the Colonels Comeback Plan, please visit www.staywell.eku.edu.