Undoubtedly, news of the COVID-19 pandemic has become a fixture in your daily lives. To better understand how the pandemic is affecting Canadians, I’m happy to introduce the Monitoring COVID-19 In Canada dashboard that I’ve been working on with several colleagues in the Ontario Veterinary College.
The dashboard – which you can find here – is our1 attempt to translate the data into a set of easy to understand visualizations to describe how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing in Canada. This includes a map of confirmed cases, graphs of new and cumulative confirmed daily case counts (for Canada as a whole, and for each province and territory), and deaths.
We have also included a statistics section that describes the case fatality rate (and how this compares to the flu), estimates of the doubling time for deaths, and the average percent growth in new cases by day.
We have provided (where necessary) a brief description of the visualization to help you understand what it represents, and what you should be looking for as the pandemic continues. Each of these visualizations will be updated as more data come in. We also plan to include other visualizations as the pandemic continues.
The data that we have used to support this dashboard, of course, do not tell the entire story of COVID-19 in Canada. For example, the data are limited by our ability to test people for the disease. This means the case counts that we are using in our visualizations are likely underestimates for the actual burden of disease in the population. The data are also limited because of a backlog in processing tests that have already been conducted. A person who is infected with COVID-19 today may or may not develop symptoms; if they do, those symptoms appear after about five days. They may or may not be tested; if they are, it takes time to get the test results. This means that a person with COVID-19 who is tested today may not show up as a positive case until some point in the future.
As such, these visualizations give us a sense of what’s happening, but they aren’t the complete picture. We recommend that you follow the instructions and guidelines set out by our federal, provincial, and local public health experts; stay home, physically distance, and wash your hands.
1 Kurtis Sobkowich (PhD Student – Epidemiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph), Dr. Theresa Bernardo (IDEXX Chair in Emerging Technologies and Preventive Healthcare, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph), and Dr. Daniel Gillis (Associate Professor & Statistician, School of Computer Science, University of Guelph)