December 17, 2020
Deidre McCabe, Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-3536
Charles Gischlar, Deputy Director, Office of Communications, 410-767-6491
Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center recognizes Maryland’s data-driven governance as model for COVID-19 pandemic response
Baltimore, MD—The Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation has recognized Maryland’s data-driven governance as a model for states in COVID-19 pandemic response through its Data-Smart City Solutions project. In an article published recently, the project praises Maryland’s use of coordinated data sharing to create strategic insight in the fight against COVID-19.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, MDH and our partner agencies have been dedicated to generating as much perspective as possible to help solve problems and determine the best action to take during the course of our response,” said MDH Acting Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “Our coordinated approach helps ensure better outcomes not only in our day-to-day operations, but also in planning and supporting our long-term strategies as we continue to work to defeat COVID-19 in Maryland.”
Maryland launched its COVID-19 data hub site, coronavirus.maryland.gov, on March 14 through a cooperative partnership between MDH, the Maryland Department of Information Technology, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the Governor’s Communications Office. The site provides daily updates on Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery metrics and currently includes four distinct COVID-19 data dashboards: case and death summary data; congregate living facility data; schools outbreak data; and contact tracing data, in addition to a testing site locator.
“Our team takes great pride in the COVID-19 data hub site and its value in allowing our state and local leaders to use data-driven decision making to further our response to the pandemic,” said DoIT Secretary Michael Leahy. “The Hogan administration is committed to being transparent, keeping Marylanders fully informed—this website is a main tool in keeping that commitment, specifically during this pandemic.”
Geographic information system (GIS) data, which includes spatial and location data, shows Marylanders how changes in the pandemic relate not only to themselves, but also to fellow Marylanders and the spaces they all share and move within. The site helps increase transparency of the state’s response by consolidating data from multiple sources to produce visualizations of COVID-19 developments in Maryland and offering historical data via Maryland’s GIS data catalog.
“There are a whole host of use cases for GIS in government services. Unfortunately, GIS resources in local, county and state government are often disparate and siloed, and we rarely see collaboration and sharing of technological or data resources between departments or governments,” wrote Matthew Leger, Research Assistant for the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center. “Due to this lack of coordination, these technological resources are often left underutilized, particularly in emergencies when government agencies must work together to solve complex problems. Maryland’s GIS and data-driven governance structure can serve as a model for other states in how to position these capabilities to support a coordinated government response to a crisis.”
MDH regularly evaluates its data and reporting systems and makes updates as the pandemic continues to evolve. The main COVID-19 case and death summary data dashboard is updated daily during the 10 a.m. hour. Congregate living facility, schools and contact tracing data are updated weekly on Wednesdays during the 10 a.m. hour.
For the latest Maryland COVID-19 data, visit coronavirus.maryland.gov.
For the latest information and resources about COVID-19 in Maryland, visit covidlink.maryland.gov.
The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management and community engagement.
Follow us on Twitter @MDHealthDept and at Facebook.com/MDHealthDept.