COVID Archives – PCCI

4 June 2021

PCCI COVID-19 Update: Vaccinations Help Dallas County’s COVID-19 Risk Drop 40 Percent in May




DALLAS – Due to vaccination levels and reduction in new COVID-19 cases in Dallas County, the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation’s COVID-19 Vulnerability Index has recorded a 40 percent drop in average vulnerability from April to the end of May.

The Vulnerability Index decrease can be attributed to a moderate increase in vaccines, a 10 percent increase in vaccinated people (partial or complete) month over month, and a 37 percent decrease in active cases.

The ZIP code with the highest Vulnerability Index, 75243, has a 12.20 vulnerability rating, however that was a decreased by 61 percent from April. This decrease was driven by vaccinations.

Most vulnerable zip codes. The cases have continued to reduce substantially month-over-month. (See list below)

“Thanks to the vaccination programs implemented throughout Dallas County, we continue to see progress in our fight against COVID-19,” said Thomas Roderick, PhD, Executive in Residence at PCCI. “Our latest Vulnerability Index report is the most positive yet, with new cases slowing and modest, but important participation in the vaccination program continuing. This progress is a credit to the outstanding efforts of our public health leaders and residents devoted to crushing COVID.”

One of the hardest hit ZIP Codes during the past year, 75211, which includes the areas around Cockrell Hill and Oak Cliff, continues to be in the top 10 most vulnerable ZIP codes, however, its May rating of 9.63, is a massive improvement over its high of 196.9 in January.

Launched in June of 2020, PCCI’s Vulnerability Index identifies communities at risk by examining comorbidity rates, including chronic illnesses such as hypertension, cancer, diabetes and heart disease; areas with a high density of populations over the age of 65; and increased social deprivation such as lack of access to food, medicine, employment and transportation. These factors are combined with dynamic mobility rates and confirmed COVID-19 cases where a vulnerability index value is scaled relative to July 2020’s COVID-19 peak value. The PCCI COVID-19 Vulnerability Index can be found on its COVID-19 Hub for Dallas County at: https://covid-analytics-pccinnovation.hub.arcgis.com/.

Recently, PCCI revised its COVID-19 herd immunity forecast, 80 percent of residents either having recovered from COVID-19 or having received a vaccination, from mid-June to July, due to a slowing rate of immunizations. However, as of the end of May, Dallas County is closing in on the 80 percent goal, at 75.5 percent herd immunity.

“Without question, vaccinations are the key to Dallas County reaching herd immunity,” said George “Holt” Oliver, MD, Vice President of Clinical Informatics at PCCI. “Vaccinations have been the primary reason we’ve seen a reduction in risk and why we are in sight of reaching the herd immunity threshold. The vaccinations for adults and children over 12 years old, are effective, easily obtained and quickly administered. We should all do our part to get vaccinated and encourage others to do the same. That is the way we will crush COVID.”

Data Sources:
To build Vulnerability Index, PCCI relied on data from Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas County Health and Human Services Department, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, U.S. Census, and SafeGraph.

About Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation
Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) is an independent, not-for-profit, healthcare intelligence organization affiliated with Parkland Health & Hospital System. PCCI leverages clinical expertise, data science and social determinants of health to address the needs of vulnerable populations. We believe that data, done right, has the power to galvanize communities, inform leaders, and empower people.

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20 May 2021

Herd Immunity Forecast For Dallas County Pushed Back to Late July




  • More natural immunity; decreasing vaccination rates   
  • Data from new UT Southwestern seroprevalence study raises PCCI’s county wide previously infected estimates to 48% of the total population;   
  • Herd immunity rate increases to 74 percent of the total population 
  • PCCI now forecasts Dallas County to surpass COVID herd immunity by late July 

Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) has updated its herd immunity forecast for COVID-19 in Dallas County. The new herd immunity analysis includes the up-to-date vaccination percentages for Dallas County as well as a change in the percentage of residents confirmed and presumed to have been infected. These factors indicate that the county’s herd immunity rate is now 74 percent of the total population. However, a continued decrease in vaccinations pushes reaching the herd immunity threshold of 80 percent of all residents either having been infected or being vaccinated towards late July. 

PCCI made its initial herd immunity forecast for Dallas County in February, where it predicted the county would reach the herd immunity threshold by mid-June.  

 “The most critical factor in the fight to crush COVID remains vaccinations for the whole population, particularly with the county’s younger, working population and the recently approved high school and middle school students,” said Steve Miff, PhD., PCCI’s President and CEO. “Convenience, missed work or school from vaccine side-effects, and concerns about providing identifications for the transient and un-documented populations remain as key barriers to vaccinations and continue to be a key decision driver for the 20-30 percent of the unvaccinated population who are not opposed to receiving a vaccine, but have not yet rolled up their sleeves.” 

 An important new UT Southwestern virologic study indicates a ratio of 1:4 for confirmed positive (tested and confirmed) to presumed infected (positive antibodies, but never tested) population for Dallas County.  With this information, PCCI has updated the presumed infected adult population from a 1:3 ratio to the 1:4 ratio. This increase in the presumed infected results also in adjustment of the vaccinated population of Dallas estimated to have had prior COVID-19 infection and recovered from 21 percent to 28 percent.   

 For vaccinations, the weekly average is slowing below 15,000 first doses/week despite new age group approval for 12-15-year-old. To date, 1,018,696 people in Dallas County have been vaccinated, with 798,775 being fully vaccinated.  This indicates that approximately 40 percent of the whole county population, 52 percent of the over 18-year-old population, and 77 percent of the over 65-year-old have received at least one dose of the vaccine.   

The net results increase the current county wide herd immunity rate to 74 percent of the total population.  Twenty-six Dallas County ZIP codes are estimated as surpassing the 80 percent threshold to date.  

  

 Figure Above: COVID-19 Herd Immunity Current State, Dallas County, May 13, 2021; base population based on US Census ACS 2019 5 year; values capped at maximum of 0.8 to show relative progress; eastern zip codes in county tend to be sparser and cover a larger area; estimates may have variance across county estimates; using 4x AIRR based on UTSW seroprevalence data as best local estimate. Overlap estimate of 28% of vaccinated population of Dallas estimated to have had prior COVID-19 infection and recovered. 

 Significant plans are already underway to address convenience and access. PCCI has created an updated Vulnerability Index calculation and identified the top 100 neighborhoods with the most unvaccinated individuals (map below).  The map shows areas of low vaccination rates sprinkled across north and central Dallas County, but it indicates large sections of the southern half of the county have many unvaccinated. These areas in south Dallas often experience transportation gaps to access certain vaccination sites.  

Dallas County, City of Dallas and the Parkland Health and Hospital System are coordinating efforts to bring local community vaccination clinics to high risk, high opportunity locations.  There are 29 recent, active, and planned community locations to where individual can receive a COVID vaccine in their own neighborhood.   These are in addition to the local pharmacies, physician offices and other activities by many local health systems.   

  

Above Image: The dotted red areas indicate neighborhoods with highest numbers of unvaccinated individuals. 

“With this new analysis, we are able to pinpoint where the least vaccinated populations are in the county,” said Dr. Miff. “Our public health leaders are taking action and making progress toward reaching those areas, but each of us can take responsibility to quickly receive our vaccine and encourage our friends and neighbors to do the same, especially for those who live in neighborhoods with the low vaccination rates. Vaccines are the fastest and safest way we can get back to any sort of normal.” 

Why does it matter that we get to herd immunity through vaccinations instead of infection? 

Reaching herd immunity will significantly reduce the spread of the virus but reaching the 80 percent with equal numbers of vaccinated and natural immunity populations will not make the virus go away. For areas already at or above 80 percent, and for the rest of the county, until vaccination rates increase, there will likely continue to be low levels of constant infections, hospitalizations and periodic deaths.   

 “The virus will continue to linger in the background at relatively low and steady rates, with the periodic flareup. The best thing we can do is continue to vaccinate to reach and surpass the 80 percent vaccination mark and then drive both personal and community protection through the vaccines,” said Dr. George ‘Holt’ Oliver, Vice President of clinical Informatics at PCCI. 

 For more information about how PCCI has taken the fight to COVID-19, go to: https://pccinnovation.org/taking-the-fight-to-covid-19/. 

 About Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation  

Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) is an independent, not-for-profit, healthcare intelligence organization affiliated with Parkland Health & Hospital System. PCCI leverages clinical expertise, data science and social determinants of health to address the needs of vulnerable populations.   

  

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12 May 2021

Updated PCCI Vulnerability Index Highlights Progress, but Ongoing At-Risk Communities




By Thomas Roderick, PCCI’s Executive in Resident
& George “Holt” Oliver, MD, PhD, Vice President, Clinical Informatics

Why this post

More than a year ago, the data scientists at Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) committed to take the fight to COVID-19 by assisting North Texas residents, community leaders and public health officials through delivering actionable pandemic intelligence.

Many of us at PCCI and in the community have suffered the loss of family members, colleagues, coworkers, neighbors and friends. So with great relief we have witnessed tremendous scientific achievements in the development, approval and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines within a year. We have also seen the community evolve and adapt to life with COVID-19 and the actions expand from initial testing strategies to vaccine deployment, herd immunity projections and tracking, to now overcoming vaccination hesitancy and surveillance tracking of emerging variants, re-infections and individual/community immunity.

As our community and pandemic efforts evolve, so does the intelligence it needs. To meet that need, PCCI is evolving its technology and is pleased to announce the next phase of the Vulnerability Index.

What is the Vulnerability Index?

The Vulnerability Index is a measure of risk a community faces due to COVID-19. Higher risk means that people may be more likely to be infected with COVID-19, and if they do, they are more likely to experience symptoms and potentially face hospitalization and even death.

When the Vulnerability Index was first built, it covered factors correlated with COVID-19, including attributes in the community that don’t change quickly (like proportion of elderly population, people living with chronic conditions that are associated with COVID-19, and social determinants of health) as well as dynamic factors that increase immediate risk, like active COVID-19 cases and the mobility of the people living in the community.

How has the Vulnerability Index changed?

The North Texas community has evolved in two very important ways, and so the Vulnerability Index is changing as well.

    • First, as with the rest of the world it has adopted mask-wearing, social distancing, hand washing, and other hygiene and behavioral recommendations from public health authorities to limit the spread of COVID-19. Combined with the full opening of the economy, this means that a mobility factor has less relevance in identifying risk, because people change their behavior when they are out shopping at the grocery store, working, visiting parks, and otherwise engaging in the community. Without these behavior adjustments, mobility would continue to be important to monitor and understand, but not a critical factor in predicting neighborhood vulnerability.
    • Second, the introduction and uptake of the vaccine has started the process of lifting communities to herd immunity (HI), which is where the virus has a hard time finding people to infect because enough people have antibodies. As more people get vaccinated, there are fewer people in the community to become infected, and the community is less vulnerable.

An important caveat is that COVID-19 variants can continue to arise. PCCI is conducting ongoing surveillance on reinfections across Dallas County to assess the emergence of new variants, transmission and potential drop off of previously developed immunity. If this happens it means the mediating effect of the vaccination against COVID-19 risk may be decreased – so more people face infection risk. This is also captured in the updated Vulnerability Index.

How is the Vulnerability Index used?

The Vulnerability Index is used to inform how the communities and municipalities across Dallas County coordinate efforts to improve access to testing, vaccinations and create a path towards herd immunity. Below is a balloon plot, which shows cases on the horizontal axis and vaccinations on the vertical axis. It highlights HI progress in early April for ZIP codes across Dallas County. Each circle represents the current progress; each tail shows the improvement over two weeks. Upward “balloon” trajectory is favorable as it indicates that improvement was a result of vaccinations, not infections.

Source: The Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation

One thing that immediately jumps out is that ZIP codes with higher static vulnerability (or long-term risks in a community that do not change quickly such as age, medical comorbidities and social/economic factors) were slower at vaccine uptake. A potential reason for this is social determinants of health (SDOH) – people who live in these zip codes may be in jobs that are not conducive to have the ability to take time off from work and to travel to vaccine sites to be vaccinated. This information is used by community organizers, public health officials, and health care providers to coordinate efforts and target each community in a way that removes barriers to vaccinations and target information and education via convenient and trusted sources.

Excelsior!

Ongoing vigilance against the virus remains key, and this includes getting vaccinated at your first available opportunity. As we enter the second summer in the pandemic, we at PCCI are committed to monitoring for COVID-19’s continued impact on the community, whether through improving the view into impacted communities, the impact of variants, reinfection risk, and more.

For more information about how PCCI has taken the fight to COVID-19, go to: https://pccinnovation.org/taking-the-fight-to-covid-19/

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10 March 2021

PCCI CEO Steve Miff’s Statement on Changing Texas COVID-19 Mask Policies




5 March 2021

PCCI’s Vulnerability Index Records 66 Percent Reduction in COVID-19 Risk for Dallas County




DALLAS – Dallas County saw a massive 66 percent reduction in risk values recorded by PCCI’s COVID-19 Vulnerability Index in February, with some of the most vulnerable ZIP codes showing significant reductions.

One of the hardest hit ZIP Codes, 75211, which includes the areas around Cockrell Hill and Oak Hill, saw its vulnerability risk value drop by 151.9 points, going from 196.9 vulnerability rating in January to 44.9 in February. The 75211 ZIP code remains the second most at risk area in Dallas County, however its overall improvement is a positive sign for the hard-hit area.

“The dramatic drop in the county’s vulnerability is positive and offers a hopeful path going forward,” Thomas Roderick, PhD, Senior Director of Data and Applied Sciences at PCCI. “We are remaining cautious as we saw vulnerability rates come down

last summer only to see increase significantly later. The key to continued reduction of vulnerability is ongoing vigilance, including continued adhering to local health official guidance, social distancing, face covering, and registering for vaccinations as soon as you’re able.”

Launched in June of 2020, PCCI’s Vulnerability Index identifies communities at risk by examining comorbidity rates, including chronic illnesses such as hypertension, cancer, diabetes and heart disease; areas with a high density of populations over the age of 65; and increased social deprivation such as lack of access to food, medicine, employment and transportation. These factors are combined with dynamic mobility rates and confirmed COVID-19 cases where a vulnerability index value is scaled relative to July 2020’s COVID-19 peak value. The PCCI COVID-19 Vulnerability Index

can be found on its COVID-19 Hub for Dallas County at: https://covid-analytics-pccinnovation.hub.arcgis.com/.

In addition to the drop in 75211, the ZIP code 75204, in east downtown Dallas, saw a 104.4 drop in its vulnerability ratings. ZIP code 75224, in southern Dallas, saw a drop of 64.9 in its vulnerability ratings, but now is ranked as the most vulnerable area in Dallas County with a vulnerability value of 45.87. Also, the ZIP code 75227, in east Dallas County intersected by State Highway 12, is the third most vulnerable area in Dallas with a 42.45 value, though it dropped 70.5 in its vulnerability ratings since January.

“Holidays and events are potential super-spreader events,” said Dr. Roderick. “We are in a time of year where these tend to

be limited, which impacts ongoing COVID-19 cases. However, Spring Break and occasional holidays on the calendar represent potential trouble times. PCCI will continue monitoring for things that can push Dallas County into higher levels of vulnerability.”

PCCI recently forecast that Dallas County may reach COVID-19 herd immunity by mid-June. This, Dr. Roderick points out, is only possible though vaccinations.

“We each need to be patient as well as register and receive our COVID-19 vaccination,” said Dr. Roderick. “The only way we will reach herd immunity is by maintaining our vigilance and getting vaccinated. Reaching herd immunity is a community effort and should be a priority for each of us.”

PCCI recently launched the MyPCI App, another program to help inform the residents of Dallas County to their individual risks. The MyPCI App, free to register and use, is a secure, cloud-based tool that doesn’t require personal health information and doesn’t track an individual’s mobile phone data. Instead, it is a sophisticated machine learning algorithm, geomapping and hot-spotting technology that uses daily updated data from the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) on confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and the population density in a given neighborhood. Based on density and distances to those nearby who are infected, the MyPCI App generates a dynamic personal risk score.

To use the MyPCI App, go to, https://pccinnovation.org/mypci/, click on the link and register (Using code: GP-7xI6QT). Registration includes a request for individual location information that will be used only for generating a risk assessment, never shared. Once registered, simply login daily and a COVID-19 personal risk level score will be provided along with information to help individuals make informed decisions about how to manage their risk.

Data Sources:
To build Vulnerability Index, PCCI relied on data from Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas County Health and Human Services Department, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, U.S. Census, and SafeGraph.

About Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation
Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) is an independent, not-for-profit, healthcare intelligence organization affiliated with Parkland Health & Hospital System. PCCI leverages clinical expertise, data science and social determinants of health to address the needs of vulnerable populations. We believe that data, done right, has the power to galvanize communities, inform leaders, and empower people.

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2 March 2021

In the News: TIME Magazine – This County Tried to Ensure Racial Equity in COVID-19 Vaccinations.




 Magazine has posted a story about #Dallas County’s efforts to distribute #covid vaccines fairly, and it features PCCI’s work with its Vulnerability Index and other COVID data as a way to help support the under-served in our community.

 

 

17 February 2021

In The News: DCEO Healthcare covers the MyPCI App; a tool that gives you your COVID risk




 

Are You Likely to Get COVID-19 in Dallas? There’s an App for That.

Dallas County residents can now get an instant reading of their vulnerability to COVID-19 using an app developed by the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation. The new technology provides a live, location-specific risk assessment with a score to reflect how vulnerable a person is to the virus.
https://www.dmagazine.com/healthcare-business/2021/02/are-you-likely-to-get-covid-19-in-dallas-theres-an-app-for-that/

27 January 2021

PCCI’s New MyPCI App Informs Individuals of COVID-19 Exposure Risk




Rating tool for measuring COVID-19 risk adopted by the Diocese of Dallas Catholic Schools

Dallas, Texas – Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI), which improves healthcare for vulnerable populations using advanced data science and clinical experts, has released the MyPCI App, a solution, exclusive to Dallas County, that will help individuals make informed choices by providing an on-demand, location-based personal risk assessment of possible COVID-19 exposure.

The MyPCI App, free to register and use, is a secure, cloud-based tool that doesn’t require personal health information and doesn’t track an individual’s mobile phone data. Instead, it is a sophisticated machine learning algorithm, geomapping and hot-spotting technology that uses daily updated data from the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) on confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and the population density in a given neighborhood. Based on density and distances to those nearby who are infected, the MyPCI App generates a dynamic personal risk score.

To use the MyPCI App, go to, https://pccinnovation.org/mypci/, click on the link and register (Using code: GP-7xI6QT). Registration includes a request for individual location information that will be used only for generating a risk assessment, never shared. Once registered, simply login daily and a COVID-19 personal risk level score will be provided along with information to help individuals make informed decisions about how to manage their risk.

“Proximity continues to remain one of the most important factors in pandemic management and personal protection,” said Steve Miff, PhD, PCCI’s President and CEO. “While we wait to receive a vaccine, we can control our own risk of exposure and help bend the curve.  The MyPCI App is a simple to use tool that will give you an understanding of the COVID-19 risks in your vicinity and reinforce the need for social distancing, face covering and hand washing.”

(continue below video)

The MyPCI App is based on highly effective technology that has already been proven in the field. The app is built on the PCCI COVID-19 Proximity Index designed for the Parkland Health & Hospital System. The Proximity Index looked at the proximal risk score of patients who were scheduled for in-person medical appointments. If a person was identified at high or very high risk, the appointment was proactively shifted from an in-person visit to a telephonic or virtual visit – protecting both patients and health care providers. Also, timely screening and care plan was offered proactively. Data analyses from over 500,000 Parkland patients indicates that an individual with a high or very high proximity index had a seven times higher risk of ending up being infected. The success of this Parkland program has prompted additional development of the tool that is now available to the public as the MyPCI App.

“I am pleased that PCCI is making this service available to the public, as it uses the same tool which has helped us at Parkland better care for the Dallas County community by providing important information that indicates one’s risk for developing COVID,” said Brett Moran, MD, Chief Medical Informatics Officer for Parkland. “Parkland and PCCI have been using these algorithms from early in the pandemic to effectively provide outreach to high-risk individuals which helps them as well as their family, friends and the community at large.”

To ensure all residents of Dallas County can use this tool to empower themselves with better information, the MyPCI App is also available at Parkland at https://www.parklandhospital.com/information-about-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid19, using PARK-xaoHtR registration code. It is also available at the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department at http://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/ using DCHHS-62ta7b registration code.

“We have been pleased throughout this pandemic to be partnering with PCCI so that we can use their cutting-edge technology and data applications to address COVID-19,” said Dr. Philip Huang, MD, MPH, Director of Health and Human Services for Dallas County. “This latest tool is another example of how Dallas County benefits from the tremendous resources and partnerships we have here.”

An early, enterprise-wide adopter of the MyPCI App is the Diocese of Dallas Catholic Schools, to help better inform its student’s parents. The Diocese of Dallas Catholic Schools represents more than 61,000 students in 38 different schools, many of which are in Dallas County. Parents using the MyPCI App will receive information allowing them to work collaboratively with teachers and administrators in an informed way.

“We are always looking to innovate and partnering with PCCI on this initiative is a great opportunity to empower our parents and families with information that makes then engaged partners with our team in containing the virus and keeping our staff and students safe,” said Matt Vereecke, Superintendent of Schools, Catholic Diocese of Dallas.

A goal for PCCI in rolling out the MyPCI App, is to give tools and information to help Dallas County residents to make the most informed decisions possible as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and while the vaccination program becomes more widespread.

“The key for all residents of Dallas County to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 is to register and use the MyPCI App as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Miff. “While we are very encouraged by the vaccination initiatives, they will take time take, which means now is not the time to let our guard down. The pandemic is still raging, so we need to use personal information and awareness about our own individual and household risks to re-enforce and manage the things that we can control while we wait for broad implementation of vaccines.”

 About Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation

Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) is an independent, not-for-profit, healthcare intelligence organization affiliated with Parkland Health & Hospital System. PCCI leverages clinical expertise, data science and social determinants of health to address the needs of vulnerable populations.

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21 January 2021

Get Your COVID19 Person Risk Score Now




To register and login to the MyPCI App to quickly understand your personal risk of COVID-19 exposure in Dallas County, please click on the image below below or go to: https://mypci.pccinnovation.org/my-proximity to register, Using code: GP-7xI6QT. The first assessment takes 24 hours.

 

 

 

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