Shrewsbury high school sophomore creates COVID-19 tracker

697

By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Shrewsbury high school sophomore creates COVID-19 tracker
William Wu with his COVID-19 tracker
Photo/submitted

Shrewsbury – When Shrewsbury High School sophomore William Wu’s sister, Athena, went away to college at Georgia Tech in August, he noticed his mother was constantly checking the school’s COVID-19 dashboard for cases of the virus, multiple times every day.

“I also remember that there was a Georgia Tech Facebook group where a lot of people were talking about coronavirus cases as well,” he said. “I began to realize the importance of the cases and how people really wanted this data.”

He then thought how great it would be to have this information not just from local schools but from the whole country in one place. He created a COVID-19 data aggregator with a website that collects data as it’s published from states and school systems across the nation.

“At the time, Massachusetts had not opened schools yet, but I was beginning to wonder if data like this was available to the public and where to find it,” he noted.

He then began collecting data and by the middle of September, he had enough to begin working on his website.

After learning that the state of Texas would be releasing data to the public, he began to search other state’s websites for similar information. He reached out to various states’ departments of public health and education.

The data he was beginning to accumulate included the number of cases per school, but he quickly found that each state reported the data differently, sometimes by school but often by county or zones.

“The website helps to track coronavirus cases in public schools and sometimes private schools and colleges – it depends on the state,” he commented.

Wu’s work has gained attention nationwide and has been featured in the Washington Post as well as other local newspapers and new outlets. 

He updates the website as often as the information comes out from each state. And his goal is to keep the website going as long as possible.

Currently, Wu collects data from 29 states, having hit some roadblocks from some states who have not yet released detailed data to the public. Wu continues to diligently monitor their dashboards.

Wu has chosen the hybrid model of learning for his sophomore year. While he has many interests, including the Colonials Team 467 Robotics Team, he has not yet decided what he COVIwould like to pursue beyond high school. 

To view or subscribe to Wu’s website, visit www.covidschooltracker.com