COVID dashboard helps inform Gannon


Michael Guido, News Editor

Gannon University’s COVID-19 tracker dashboard has opened the door to questions pertaining to pertinent information regarding the virus.

As the academic year has begun, some have questioned how often the dashboard is updated with new information and whether the updates are timely, as well as if students are being notified of new and important information in an expedited manner.

Doug Oathout, the chief marketing and communications officer for Gannon, said that the dashboard is updated mid-morning each morning, Monday to Friday, and is reflective of the results from the previous night’s testing.

Oathout further said that the Office of Marketing and Communications has been determining the timeliness of the updates and has made updates daily, sometimes more than once a day if needed.

The variables determining a shift in numbers include quarantine, isolation and tests, Oathout said.

The numbers included can move in part due to tests conducted by Gannon and results submitted from beyond the Gannon bubble.

Despite not having a high number of cases confirmed, Gannon has included any new numbers in their Friday messages sent from Brian Nichols, vice president of Student Development and Engagement.

However, the university stands ready to report any major changes in the COVID-19 numbers.

“So far, we have been fortunate to not have large numbers of cases,” Oathout said. “If that changes, we will communicate it to the entire Gannon population.”

In the spring, Gannon began working to provide the community with a reopening plan, both for its Erie campus as well as the Ruskin, Fla., campus. The dashboard has also provided updates on new policies and protocols pertaining to COVID-19 and other miscellaneous items to help move the university back to Some updates and links have been geared toward specific groups such as students, faculty and staff.

The dashboard also features links with information for the CARES Act, reporting testing and news regarding facilities.

Students have found the dashboard to overall be a useful tool in being aware and up to date on COVID-19 news at Gannon.

Justin Johnson, a senior social work and theology major, said that he felt the dashboard was “very helpful and transparent.”

“You can see the number of positive cases and how many people are in isolation,” Johnson said. “In terms of COVID-19 guidelines, the information is rapidly changing so it’s hard to keep everything accurate.”

Other students, like Alesha Griffo, a junior physician assistant and psychology major, agreed that the dashboard has been helpful and has provided students and the Gannon community with much sought information.

“One of the reasons I really appreciate Gannon is how transparent and communicative they have been through this whole debacle with COVID-19,” Griffo said.

Griffo said she never felt as if she and others were being left in the dark, and believed the university was doing what it needed to do in order to keep people safe.

The dashboard serves as a great tool for everyone to see how the university is doing and to keep motivation building, Griffo said.

For students like Claudia Herrero, a junior public service & global affairs major, the insistence on transparency has made the dashboard useful for students.

“I personally feel like it’s a great tool to have,” Herrero said.

Matt Whaley, a sophomore political science and history major, said that Gannon has done a good job communicating with the student body, especially through email.

“The students faculty and staff have a right to know their safety on campus, and Gannon is meeting that need and then some,” Whaley said.

Whaley further said that because of the success of the first three weeks of the semester, he is optimistic that things can continue to improve at Gannon.

Since June 1, the Erie campus has conducted 1,584 tests, while the Ruskin campus has conducted 277 tests.

As of June 1, the Erie campus has had seven total confirmed cases. Six of the cases have been students, while one has been a employee.

At the Ruskin campus, three cases have been confirmed, with all three being students.


Access the dashboard here:



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