Utilizing KDHE’s Coronavirus Information Part 2 – School Gating Criteria

Utilizing KDHE’s Coronavirus Information Part 2 – School Gating Criteria

As we move into the fall and continue to work through the challenges of opening schools, it is important to have consistent, reliable data to work with.  The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has created a website with current information on COVID-19 in Kansas.  This article will review how to access and use this information.

The KDHE Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response site can be found at https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/.  In this article, we will focus on the School Gating Criteria section of the COVID-19 Cases in Kansas page (https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/160/COVID-19-in-Kansas), however we encourage you to spend some time on the other pages to see what information and resources are available.

Selecting the School Gating Metrics

On the overview page, selecting “School Gating Metrics” from the menu will take you to a page with data corresponding to metrics outlined in the Kansas School Gating Criteria.  There are four criteria related to this section:

Clicking on any of the four will take you to a page with metrics for the criteria, with the exception of “Student Absenteeism.”  KDHE indicates that it does not have metrics for absenteeism, but school districts should have the building level Average Daily Attendance data available within their own data systems.

Trend in Incident Rate

Incident rate is defined as the number of new cases for each week per 100,000 people.  The cumulative incident rate is defined as the number of new cases for a two-week period per 100,000 people.  Clicking on the “Trend in Incident Rate” graphic on the School Gating Metrics page takes you to a page that shows data by age group for the state and for each county.

Under the County Breakout section, you can select a County or Counties and one or more Age Groups to see the data you are interested in.

The arrows show the change in trend from the previous period; up indicates and increase, down a decrease, and right a level trend.  Missing arrows suggest data is not available for the period in question.  Hovering over one of the arrows shows the statistics for that period.

Districts should be looking at the rate to determine whether the number of new cases per 100,000 lands in the green (0-50), yellow (51-100), orange (101-150), or red (> 151), and also for the trend in the incidence rate, with decreasing numbers associated with green, stable with yellow and orange, and increasing with red.

Two Week Percent Positive Case Rate

Percent positive case rate is defined as the number of positive tests for each week divided by all tests performed that week.  Clicking on the “Two Week Percent Positive Case Rate” graphic on the School Gating Metrics page takes you to a page that shows data by age group for the state and for each county.

Under the County Breakout section, you can select a County or Counties and one or more Age Groups to see the data you are interested in.

This tool differs slightly from the Indicate rate tool in that it provides the total and also a breakout for each of the age groups selected.  The colors indicate the positivity rate, and are consistent with KSDE’s gating levels; blue is less than 5%, yellow is 5% to 9.99%, orange is 10% to 14.99%, and red is 15% or higher.  Hovering over one of the arrows shows the statistics for that period.

Population Data by County and Age Group

Clicking on the “Population Data by County and Age Group” graphic takes you to a page that lists the population of each county broken out by age groups.

Hospital Capacity

The one remaining metrics referenced in KSDE’s Gating Criteria that is not included in the School Gating Criteria section on KDHE’s COVID-19 Resource site is the local or referring hospital capacity.  This can be found on the Hospital Capacity page.

The page shows a variety of statistics.  For the gating criteria, the first step is to scroll to the bottom of the page and determine which Health Care Coalition (HCC) the County or Counties of interest fall into.

Once you have determined which HCC region applies, you can filter the data to show just that region toward the top of the page.

After selecting the appropriate region, the “ICU Beds Available” percentage can be used for the Hospital Capacity gating criterial metric.

For more on KDHE’s COVID statistics, click here to watch KASB’s Lunch and Learn from August 5th, where KDHE’s Ashley Goss reviewed the site, how to use the data, and which statistics are likely to be the most useful.