State shares new COVID-19 data; Berkeley dashboard still in the works

Berkeleyside has taken another look at how counties in the Bay Area are sharing COVID-19 data to see how Alameda County and Berkeley measure up.

Sonoma County has a dashboard that includes case counts around the Bay Area.

For the past month, the city of Berkeley has promised repeatedly to release a new data dashboard to help the public see some of the numbers related to COVID-19 infections in town. On Saturday, staff said that dashboard would be out this week. It hasn’t happened yet.

On the bright side, Berkeley is collaborating with Alameda County on its COVID-19 dashboard, which includes Berkeley cases and deaths by date and overall. The county is also sharing cumulative infection data — for all of Alameda County — on ethnicity, sex and age, as well as cases by city and for Santa Rita Jail. There are raw numbers, as well as the rate per 100,000 people for some of the categories, on the county website.

Alameda County COVID-19 dashboard
Alameda County COVID-19 dashboard

On a second dashboard — again, this information is cumulative — Alameda County is providing hospitalization figures and death statistics by ethnicity, as well as a zip code map with COVID-19 infection numbers (for areas where there are 10 or more cases).

Berkeley has said it is limited by state guidelines as far as how granular it can get when sharing COVID-19 data. That’s an issue if a certain population has fewer than 10 cases, staff says. For example, the city said previously that eight people have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 — with five of those patients going into the ICU. But, this week, the city said it cannot release that information due to patient privacy and concerns that patients could be identified because the population is so small.


Given these limitations, it’s not clear exactly what information will be on the new Berkeley dashboard once it’s published. Staff hasn’t said what the public can expect to see there. For now, the city is posting weekly testing figures and case counts by date on its open data portal. Otherwise, all Berkeley is sharing on its main COVID-19 page each day are the latest cumulative figures for cases, deaths and tests. Unlike other jurisdictions, which put this information front and center, Berkeley posts it at the bottom of its coronavirus page, making it less accessible than anywhere else in the Bay Area.

Despite the local challenges, more and more information is being shared at multiple levels about COVID-19 infections in California. This week, the state launched several new dashboards that have extensive information by county about different aspects of COVID-19. There are case and death figures by date; case counts by county; gender, age and ethnicity info; overall testing and hospitalization figures; and hospitalization figures by county. All of those dashboards are on one easy-to-navigate webpage.

Berkeleyside has also been keeping an eye on the state’s hospital data dashboard, which breaks down patient and ICU counts, as well as suspected patient and ICU counts, by county.

The state’s COVID-19 dashboard on hospitalizations

That said, the rest of the Bay Area has left Alameda County behind as far as what — and how — jurisdictions are sharing data about COVID-19. Nearly all the other counties Berkeleyside is tracking — Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Contra Costa, Napa and Solano counties — have been able to share more than is locally available, and in ways that are easier to digest.


Berkeley is also near the bottom of the list as far as how many people it has managed to test on a per capita basis, though the city says it’s actively working now to boost that capacity. Alameda and Santa Cruz counties are the only ones without testing statistics readily available on their websites.

Most of these agencies update their statistics daily and post clear information about when the update takes place. A few jurisdictions, including Berkeley and Solano County, don’t update on the weekends, however.

Since Berkeleyside’s original post comparing data dashboards in the Bay Area, a lot has changed. Here’s a quick rundown about who is sharing what.

San Francisco

San Francisco County COVID-19 data

San Francisco has posted extensive information about the COVID-19 cases it is tracking. There’s a dashboard showing the concentration by zip code, and a “data tracker” that makes it easy to see test results, cases, deaths and gender statistics. There’s a chart showing cases by date.

There’s also a demographics dashboard about cases and deaths showing gender, age, ethnicity and transmission type.

San Francisco County COVID-19 data

Another chart shows testing figures and the percentage of positive tests by date.


San Francisco County COVID-19 data

There are also easy-to-understand charts showing patient counts by bed type (acute care, ICU beds and overall) for both confirmed and suspected cases. Another chart shows hospital capacity.

San Francisco County COVID-19 data

San Mateo County

San Mateo County is keeping its dashboards pretty concise, which makes them easy to understand. It has one dashboard showing cases and deaths — with age, sex and ethnicity information — as well as charts showing new and total cases by date.

On another dashboard, it has hospital data, with breakdowns for ICU and ventilator use and capacity.

San Mateo County COVID-19 data

There’s also a very clear dashboard showing testing information: positive, negative and pending results, as well as the positivity rate, total number tested and the average time it takes to get results.

San Mateo County COVID-19 data

The COVID-19 page also provides links to more health data from the county, making it easy to explore data, build reports and see what other resources exist.

Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County COVID-19 data

Santa Clara has a similar set of resources. There’s one dashboard with total case and fatality info, as well as stats for new cases. The dashboard shows how many people are hospitalized, and cases by city and ethnicity data. It has a link to a second page showing similar data about COVID-19 deaths.

Other charts show case counts by city, and there are robust testing and hospitalization dashboards. Yet another dashboard has information about infections at long-term care facilities.

Santa Clara County COVID-19 data

Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County has created some very easy-to-understand dashboards for its COVID-19 statistics. Its main dashboard has all the basic information, including hospitalization info and negative test results. One chart shows whether people who were hospitalized had other health conditions.

Another dashboard has new cases by date as well as cumulative cases. There’s a pie chart showing the likely exposure source, and some broad geographic data showing concentration by area of the county. Santa Cruz is also sharing several of its models related to cases, hospitalizations and cases for all counties in the state. See them in the slideshow above.

Sonoma County

Sonoma County continues to shine with the data it is sharing, though many other agencies have since caught up. It was one of the earliest Bay Area counties to share data on a wide range of statistics that are now common to see on other county websites.

Sonoma County COVID-19 data

The Sonoma County dashboard shows total and active cases, as well as deaths and recoveries. There are cases by gender, stats for hospitalizations, cases by date, and both a map and case counts for other Bay Area counties. Another section of the dashboard provides a snapshot of the numbers from the last 24 hours. Demographic data other than gender is not listed here.

A second dashboard shows cases in the world, nation and state, both overall and in the last 24 hours. Those numbers also appear on charts. Another graph shows cases by 100,000 residents in a number of countries around the world. The dashboard has a “planning report” with extensive demographic data for Sonoma County, including how many households are below the poverty level or receive food stamps or other aid.

Elsewhere on its website, Sonoma County has several charts with “cases at a glance,” data for nearby counties, case numbers by date for Sonoma County, transmission types and test results. Finally, there’s basic data about hospitalizations, age and sex, and concentration by region.

Marin County

Marin County is sharing a wealth of information: confirmed cases and deaths, testing stats, how many have recovered, and both cumulative and current hospitalizations. It has data on infections at skilled nursing facilities. It is also charting cases, hospitalizations and deaths by date, as well as tests by date.

Marin County hospitalization data

It has created a map showing infections by location, and gender, age and ethnicity breakdowns for cases, hospitalizations and deaths. There are several charts tracking respiratory illnesses, emergency room visits and calls for emergency services by date since the pandemic started. It’s a lot to take in.

Contra Costa County

On its website, Contra Costa County shows total cases and new cases, with graphs for new and cumulative cases by date. There are breakdowns for age and gender, as well as data about COVID-19 deaths. The county also has a list of cases by city, which shows the rate per 100,000 people. The county also shows the occupancy rate for ICU beds and the usage rate for ventilators. The county makes it easy to see the full dashboard on a single page.

Contra Costa County COVID-19 data

Napa County

Napa County is presenting its information in English and Spanish. On its main page, it lists cases and deaths, as well as testing figures and the number of people who are being monitored for possible infections. Recovery stats are also updated daily.

Napa has hospitalization figures posted — current and total — and a snapshot of how many of its “case contact investigations” remain active.

Napa County’s COVID-19 dashboard

The Napa County dashboard is similar to those elsewhere in the Bay Area, with cumulative cases, fatalities and recovered figures, as well as a map showing infection concentration and a breakdown by city. The dashboard includes the update time, which is always useful to see.

Elsewhere on its website, Napa shares age, race and ethnicity data, as well as relatively granular testing information about whether results are negative, positive or pending. It also breaks down whether the tests were conducted by Napa’s public health department or another agency.

There’s also a section about “influenza-like” respiratory outbreaks that have been tracked in 2020.

Solano County

Solano County is keeping it simple while providing a fair amount of information.

Solano County COVID-19 data

Its dashboard has total and active cases, total and current hospitalization stats and some charts related to case counts. There’s also an indicator showing how the county’s ICU bed and ventilator capacity is doing. Another chart shows the age range for cases. There’s a city breakdown but no ethnicity data. One area of the dashboard includes case and death data for several other counties, including Alameda.

Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.com. Twitter: emraguso.