UI updates COVID-19 dashboard following death of tech services leader
March 8, 2021
Greg Gulick, University of Illinois’ Interim Chief Information officer and key member of its COVID-19 steering committee, passed away from COVID-19 on Feb. 16.
“Greg’s empowering and compassionate leadership during this COVID-19 year is a major reason why our university was able to reopen this fall and bring our students back to campus,” according to a Masssmail sent to faculty and staff.
Gulick contracted COVID-19, but continued working with the University by “attending meetings remotely and offering his staff and other colleagues wisdom, moral support or just a funny comment to make them laugh,” according to his obituary.
“As an integral member of our University COVID-19 Steering Committee and part of our SHIELD team, Greg was instrumental in guiding our decisions and actions in directions that always put the well-being and needs of our students, staff and faculty first,” said the University through the Massmail.
The COVID-19 testing dashboard was publicized in August to make information about the University’s response to the virus widely available. The most recent version of the dashboard has been in the works for weeks, but was delayed after Gulick’s death.
This update includes breakdowns of the different categories by each population on campus, including undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and others. It also includes data regarding how many unique users there are of the Safer Illinois application on a daily basis.
The goals of this update are to make the data easier for researchers to interpret and also to enhance transparency in order to allow people to better understand the consequences of their actions, according to Robin Kaler, associate chancellor for Public Affairs.
“The goal is always to try to change and help people to understand the risks better,” Kaler said.
According to Kaler, the hope is that by providing a clearer understanding of how the virus is spreading amongst undergraduates specifically will encourage students to make decisions to slow that positivity rate down.
The update also includes a link to share the dashboard with other people and allow them to directly access the information through the link instead of having to go through a different webpage to access it.
The University plans to gather data about how many people are in isolation versus how many people are in quarantine in the near future. Any other updates would also continue to make data more accessible to researchers or others who intend to publicize it.
The University has processed 1,539,374 tests as of March 4 with an overall positivity rate of 0.40%. On March 4, the positivity rate was 0.09% with 10,237 tests processed.