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University of Michigan School of Information


MI Safe Start Map

MI Start Map is a dashboard designed to monitor the status of COVID-19 indicators across the state of Michigan. The dashboard tracks and displays the current risk level of Michigan regions and counties due to COVID-19, and includes both public and private dashboards to assist with public health response efforts and track COVID-19 trends based on more sensitive data.

The goals of MI Start Map are twofold:

  • To assist public health officials in making state, regional, and county-level decisions related to COVID-19;
  • To provide the general public with insight into some of the indicators that affect these public health decisions.

MI Lighthouse is a private dashboard for authorized users only, currently being developed within the MI Start Map umbrella. It is designed to provide state and local public health officials with access to individual-level symptom, case, and vaccine data to assist with outbreak investigations and resource allocation decisions.

The project is focused on two major outcomes for the MI Start Map umbrella of tools:

  • Improving understanding of COVID-19-related disparities, and
  •  Enabling vaccination rapid response for policy makers and state and local public health.

Decision-maker use, model translation, and anticipated impact. The MI StartMap public and private dashboards are currently in use by decision-makers ranging from the local level: local public health, school systems, long term care facility systems; up to state level: state public health (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, MDHHS), the Governor and her team for COVID-19 response, the Lt. Governor’s task force on COVID-19 disparities, and the state legislature. They are currently used for opening/closure policy in schools, long term care facilities, and the court system, as well as to inform larger decision-making efforts for restrictions and reopening in Michigan (e.g. the spring Stay-Home Stay-Safe policy and the more recent Pause to Save Lives). The MI Start Map tools are used every week for briefings with the governor and at weekly press conferences by the governor and MDHHS leadership for updating the public on the state of COVID-19 in Michigan, as well as by state agencies for a wide range of policy and public communications purposes.

Expanding the MI StartMap tools to include insights into COVID-19 disparities and vaccine rollout will allow us to better serve public health officials and decision makers at all levels across the state.

This project will enable rapid outbreak response and localized vaccine coverage tracking for local public health (including understanding local disparities within neighborhoods) via the private dashboard MI Lighthouse, and facilitate tracking and communicating vaccine coverage and disparities information for policymakers and the state general public as a whole.

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The grant was funded by The Rockefeller Brothers Foundation (through a subcontract from Johns Hopkins University). The award amount is $200,000 over the project period. The School of Information portion of the award is $178,435.