While it sounds like more like something that would be celebrated by the DNR, spokesperson Heather Lloyd says it involved tracking information — not animals.
“We get funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that allow 26 states and one city’s tracking program to basically launch a public safety portal that has health and environmental data in it,” Lloyd says. She says there’s a lot of data available that groups or individuals can use. For example, Lloyd says you can use it to find out what is going on in your county. Most of the current data focuses on counties and there is some city data also.
She says they have trouble getting that data out to the public. Lloyd says if you read the data and keep track of what’s going on around you, you may be able to make improvements in your life. “Hopefully to see if there are any kind of health trends or what is going on in the communities. And also so the community leaders can take a look at that data and help drive some public policy actions on that,” Lloyd says. The department is highlighting different things each day of this week, from air quality to the climate and heat. She says there’s more than just graphs and numbers.
“So for instance if you were looking at our asthma page, we would also have some basic information about what asthma is, how it impacts people’s health,” Lloyd says. “And also has the data available to see how it is playing out in their community.” The goal is to keep people better informed and help them take action by knowing more about what is going on around them.
“What we see is that sometimes people just aren’t aware because we haven’t been able to get this data out there to them. We finally through funding have been able to make this a possibility so folks can see what is going on and hopefully taking action based on that,” according to Lloyd. You can find out more about how to track information on the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website .