By Shereen Siewert

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the people of the greater Wausau area, Wausau Pilot & Review is pleased to roll out a new resource page for readers to easily see current data on infections, testing and hospitalizations.

Bookmark the page here or find it by clicking on the “COVID-19 resource page” tab in our main menu on our website or in our app.

We’re providing these numbers, updated daily, to help you make better decisions about your response to the virus. Tracking the number of cases also helps businesses, elected officials and organizations gauge the severity of the outbreak in Marathon County.

Understanding the state of the pandemic is more complicated than infections alone. That’s why we included testing and hospitalization data.

Both Matthew Fox, professor of epidemiology and global health at Boston University, and Youyang Gu, a data scientist best known for his COVID-19 prediction models, explained to ProPublica why test numbers matter.

“Cases going up or down tells you a fair bit about what’s going on at the moment in terms of transmission of the virus — but it’s only valid if we’re testing enough people,” said Fox, in his ProPublica interview.

Computational epidemiologist Maimuna Majumder also recommends tracking deaths.

Hospitalization data can help track the pandemic because those numbers have a shorter lag time than then number of reported deaths. has less of a lag than reported deaths. After the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told hospitals in July to stop reporting their data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of these numbers have become more erratic, according to The Covid Tracking Project.

Data visualizations on the page are provided through a partnership with HiGeorge, a California-based organization committed to helping newsrooms throughout the country enhance their existing reporting and further reader understanding. We appreciate their hard work and willingness to share it with you, our readers.

Soon, we’ll be implementing a home page widget that shows current numbers and trends, so you have the information you’re looking for at your fingertips. Watch for that in the next week or two.

As always, if you have questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing us at editor@wausaupilotandreview.com.