COVID source callout: Maine

I visited Maine this week, so it seems fitting to evaluate the state’s COVID-19 dashboard on my way home.

Screenshot of Maine’s dashboard. Look at how clean this is!

Maine was actually one of my favorite state dashboards for a while. Everything is on one page. A summary section at the top makes it easy to see all the most important numbers, and then there’s a tabbed panel with mini-pages on trends and demographic data. It’s all fairly easy to navigate, and although there was a period of a few weeks where Maine’s demographic data tab never loaded for me, I never held that against the state. Maine has a clear data timestamp, and it was also one of the first states to properly separate out PCR and antibody testing numbers.

Now, however, Maine is lumping PCR and antigen tests. This means that counts of these two test are being combined in a single figure. Both PCR and antigen tests are diagnostic, but they have differing sensitivities and serve different purposes, and should be reported separately; to combine them may lead to inaccurate test positivity calculations and other issues. I expect this type of misleading reporting from, say, Florida or Rhode Island, but not from Maine. Be better, Maine!

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