The Mayo Clinic in Rochester is now allowing the public access to an online tool developed to predict COVID-19 trends that have been guiding their hospitals since the start of the pandemic.
The online tracking tool provides COVID 19 case data for every county in every state in the United States, plus some information on how to prevent infections, "When we first were facing the COVID 19 pandemic, we really wanted to be good stewards of the organization's resources, " said Dr. Henry Ting, Mayo’s chief value officer, who led the development of the tracker.
He says they wanted to make sure resources like ICU beds, nurses and physicians were available at its hospitals in Minnesota and other states, but knew they would eventually make it public.
Doctor Henry Ting told WCCO's Dave Lee on the Morning News, that there is a lot of misinformation out there about the virus, and he hopes this tool will help clarify some of it, "We continue to see innovations and discoveries on diagnosis, treatments, vaccines and testing," Ting said. "Sometimes there's conflicting or controversial information in the media about how the information should be interpreted."
He said with the Mayo Clinic, being a well respected and trusted organization, they hope to bring vetted information to the public based on data and science.
He sees the public using the information as they go about daily life.
"They could use it to make a decision about whether or not to travel to a specific location."
He says Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 resource center also provides guidance on how to wear a mask properly, maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently, and clean and disinfect surfaces.
It also includes a self-assessment tool for users to determine whether they have symptoms and should seek medical care and information for COVID-19 survivors on how to donate plasma to help others.