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Virginia Department of Health launches Pandemic Metrics Dashboard

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 12:32 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Department of Health launched a new Pandemic Metrics Dashboard Monday, which gives a visualization of COVID-19 community transmission by region.

Since the middle of March, all COVID-19 data has been in a centralized dashboard on the VDH website.

That site is now expanding to include pandemic metrics.

“The most important data for you to follow is the statistic called Burden," said Lilian Peake, the State Epidemiologist.

The region metrics dashboard allows users to select different regions, days going back to January 27, a month and a half before the first COVID case was reported in Virginia.

The Burden column shows one number for different sections including daily case incident rate, outbreaks, and even the cases reported among healthcare workers.

In the next column, there’s a time series. It shows a graphed, visual representation of the numbers. The last column is the trend.

“We hope communities use the tool to help understand the data in their locality and also surrounding locality to understand the potential risk of introduction or subsequent transmission in other settings like schools," said Laurie Forlano, the Deputy Commissioner for Population Health

And that’s the other key component: schools. A tab at the top is labeled CDC School Metrics tab to assist school officials in implementing strategies to decrease the transmission of COVID-19.

In this section, there’s a map of school indicators that’s color coded based on risk transmission.

The VDH said it recommends that decisions to alter K-12 schooling, including decisions about in-person instruction, dismissals or closures be handled at the most local level possible, while considering regional and local epidemiology, community characteristics and local capacity.

In Virginia there’s only 4 localities marked as low risk.

Most are moderate or higher risk.

Several of our hometowns are labeled as highest risk, including Radford, Roanoke City, and Montgomery County.

These dashboards are intended to help individual communities measure the extent to which the virus is spreading in their area and guide possible responses. The VDH said each community is different and appropriate mitigation strategies will differ; the best available data should be considered, as well as the impact to the community.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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