SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's health departments do not all march to the same drummer when it comes to providing information online.
Salt Lake County is alone in Utah providing flexible zip-code specific tools. (If you live in another big county, might be worth a call to your elected leaders asking why they don’t let you do the same.)
A common guideline suggested for all re-opening was that an area should have a sustained (14-day) rate of positive test results below 5 percent, meaning fewer than five of every hundred people tested have COVID-19. Most counties will list this information county-wide, and most counties fail the test by that standard. But COVID-19 may be concentrated away from your neighborhood and schools. (All of Utah’s health department websites are listed at the bottom of this story)
So here’s how to get the info from your area on Salt Lake County’s site.
You’ll see a bar graph with daily and overall numbers. Below the graph, you’ll see arrows allowing you to click through slides from 1 to 12.
Click right to 4.
You should see a graph called “COVID-19 Total Tested.”
At first, you see county totals spanning the entire crisis, starting in March.
You need to change the “date” line at the top so that it just spans the last two weeks.
Now, you’ll see the percentage of tests coming back positive for the whole county for the last two weeks.
Then just find your zip code on the list to the right of the graph and click the box. Let’s say you live in Rose Park in zip code 84104:
When you click the zip code, you can see the positive results in that area, which in this case are far beyond the recommended threshold for safe reopening.
It’s important to realize that local numbers are somewhat meaningful for elementary schools that serve smaller areas and have less staff on hand. Even then, staff come from far and wide and students come into contact with a diverse group as well. The scope of a high school community, in students, staff and faculty makes any neighborhood numbers pretty meaningless.
If you want to see how your county reports data online: