Framework for Monitoring COVID-19 Public Health Indicators

Given the systemic spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the threat of COVID-19 in our communities is likely to persist for a long time. As public health and medical professionals work to prevent and treat COVID-19, we must also build new systems to allow policy makers and the public to monitor the movement and changes in the epidemic.

In this report, a group of researchers from the University of Michigan School of Public Health propose a framework of indicators that can be used to monitor the answers to three critical questions:

  • How is the disease spreading in our communities?
  • How well is the health care system able to provide care?
  • How quickly can the public health system identify infections and at risk individuals?

Real-time information on testing, disease symptoms, hospitalizations, and death is essential to good policy making, as well as good personal decision making, on how to mitigate risk of infection and spread. We all need access to reliable, current disease statistics along with guidance on how to interpret this data. 

The guidance provided in the report is intended to serve as one component of a wider strategy to balance and modulate the risks of conducting daily activities with levels of prevention that are adequately adapting to the level of infection and system capacity experienced in our local communities.

View the Report