In order to support the work of the research community in the area of COVID-19 related research and thereby to inform evidence-based decision-making during this period of national emergency, a mechanism is required to facilitate the compilation of relevant COVID-19 health data in a format that is controlled, accessible and usable for approved researchers. This mechanism is the CSO COVID-19 Data Research Hub.
The purpose of the CSO COVID-19 Data Research Hub is to make individual level administrative COVID-19 datasets available to researchers via the CSO Researcher Microdata Files (RMF) process under Section 20(c) of The Statistics Act, 1993. The datasets within the hub contain individual level data on those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, been referred for testing, been treated in hospital for COVID-19 or have been identified as being a close contact of a confirmed case. The provision for researcher access to the CSO COVID-19 Data Research Hub follows extensive consultation between CSO, the Health Research Board (HRB), Department of Health (DoH) and the Heath Service Executive (HSE). This consultation led to the establishment of the Research Data Governance Board. No directly identifiable data relating to individuals will be made available to researchers, and no identifiable data will be made available to any stakeholders or other persons by the project team under conditions of Section 34 of the Statistics Act.