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PW Exclusive: UNC System creating all-campus COVID-19 dashboard not open to public

The UNC System is creating a system-wide dashboard to monitor COVID-19 metrics across the system’s 17 campuses, according to a memo from UNC System President Peter Hans to chancellors of UNC schools.

The memo, obtained by Policy Watch this week, describes a dashboard that would be updated daily for “internal, informational purposes only” and not available to the public. It would be password protected and chancellors would have to request access even for their leadership teams, according to the memo.

The memo, dated August 5, is accompanied by a series of charts marked “confidential draft: not for distribution” which detail which metrics may be tracked.

Josh Ellis, UNC System associate vice president for media relations, sent Policy Watch a statement late Thursday.

“The UNC System issued a draft administrative memo to our campuses providing direction on data reporting to the System Office to assess relevant conditions at our institutions,” Ellis wrote. “The information being collected is public information and nothing in the memo suggests otherwise.”

The memo uses the words “for internal, informational purposes only” in describing the dashboard and says that it will be password protected, for use by chancellors and their leadership teams if they should be given permission.

“Our campuses have, or can choose to have, public facing dashboards with information that is most relevant to monitoring and assessing conditions at each of our institutions,” Ellis wrote.

The memo makes no reference to public-facing dashboards at the university level and does not address whether the info collected daily is to be used in any university’s public-facing dashboard.

“Much of that data is also shared with county or local health departments and collected by the state,” Ellis wrote. ” The UNC System is committed to the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, and providing safe environments to learn, teach, work and live.”

This is a developing story Policy Watch will continue reporting.

Read the memo in its entirety below:

 

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