By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
One Feather Staff
After more than two years of reports, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) health officials are ceasing publication of the COVID-19 dashboard. The last one is set to be released to the public on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 240 COVID-19 dashboards were released by EBCI PHHS (Public Health and Human Services) through the EBCI Joint Information Center. The first was released on July 15, 2020, and the dashboard initially came out on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. Later that year, it was released weekly on Wednesdays.
The reports included multiple graph pages full of information including: number of new positive cases, number of new negative tests, number of hospitalizations, number of deaths; and breakdowns of cases and more information by age and community.
“We are still collecting COVID-19 data, and we will report to the community if anything concerning arises, but COVID-19 is here to stay, and we will be moving into a new response phase,” the EBCI Public Health Team said in an official response to One Feather questions. “During the height of the pandemic, it was important for the community to know their risk and take appropriate precautions. The dashboard assisted the community in understanding the risk.”
From now on, PHHS officials will release a monthly public health report. “COVID-19 data and data from other important and emerging health issues will be included on the monthly public health report.”
That report will be posted online: https://phhs.ebci-nsn.gov/
EBCI Public Health Team officials state that people should take the following COVID-19 precautions, “Make sure that you’re up-to-date with your vaccinations and get the new COVID-19 bivalent booster shot. If you’re at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19, continue to take necessary precautions.”