University of Saskatchewan student launches COVID-19 tracker to graph coronavirus cases

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USask student launches COVID-19 tracker to graph coronavirus cases
WATCH ABOVE: A USask student has launched a website tracking all cases of COVID-19 in Canada – Mar 19, 2020

Unable to find a centralized tracker for novel coronavirus cases, a Saskatoon teenager took matters into his own hands and launched COVID-19 Tracker Canada.

Noah Little, 19, launched the website to track cases of the virus in every province.

“I was trying to see the cases across Canada and there really wasn’t a spot where I could see them all at once,” Little said, describing information sources as fragmented and slow to update.

The spike in Canadian COVID-19 cases happened around the same time that the University of Saskatchewan (USask) suspended in-person classes. As a second-year anatomy and cell biology student, Little suddenly had time to launch his site.

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His methodology is simple. He’ll look at the daily schedule for provincial health news conferences, and plan his day around them. Whenever a COVID-19 case is reported, he adds it to his running tally.

COVID-19 Tracker Canada assembles data of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the country. COVID-19 Tracker Canada

Using basic HTML coding, he can arrange the data by total cases and deaths, while providing proper citations for each occurrence.

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COVID-19 Tracker Canada also has a graph, which shows cases in Canada dating back to late January. By early March, the beginning of a curve becomes visible.

“We will eventually be able to see this curve flattening on there, and that’s something that I think is going to be very exciting to see,” Little said.

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Visualizing the curve is one of the tracker’s most valuable characteristics, Little said, though he expects case numbers to continue climbing.

“We can’t get our hopes up too much right now,” he said.

Little said his reasons for starting the site aren’t work-motivated, though he is interested in a health care career, possibly in medicine.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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