As cases, hospitalizations decline, VDH rolls out yet another COVID-19 dashboard

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The Virginia Department of Health has launched a new Pandemic Metrics Dashboard, which VDH says will provide a visualization of COVID-19 community transmission by region.

Warning: it can be hard to follow.

As the seven-day moving average of new COVID-19 positive tests has dropped statewide below the 800 mark, down 35.3 percent from its Aug. 8 peak, and the number of reported new positive tests was at 449 on Monday, a three-month low, the new dashboard seems to suggest that cases are still high, and transmission is moderate to high, on a statewide basis.

This with the number of people currently hospitalized who have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 at 602, representing 3.7 percent of the state’s hospital-bed capacity.

Anyway, you can follow the link, decide for yourself.

“Communities across the Commonwealth are facing different challenges as we all continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Virginia State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver. “This pandemic dashboard provides data for communities to individualize and tailor response efforts to local needs. A community where cases are surging and hospital beds are filling up, for example, will require different response efforts from those in a community where cases are declining and hospital occupancy is low.”

CDC School Metrics tab will also be available within the dashboard. From the press release, the tab uses metrics described by the CDC to guide decisions by school officials, taking into consideration the school’s ability to implement and adhere to key mitigation strategies to decrease transmission of COVID-19.

Now that you’ve read that, read this from The New Yorker, “The Students Left Behind by Remote Learning,” which turns on this paragraph:

A study by the Brookings Institution found that districts’ school-opening decisions correlated much more strongly with levels of support for Trump in the 2016 election than with local coronavirus case levels. “It almost feels like folly now to speak about data,” (Johns Hopkins epidemiologist Jennifer) Nuzzo told me. “The decision was going to be made not on data but on politics.”

Back to what VDH is pushing:

“On behalf of the commonwealth’s 132 school divisions, I thank the Virginia Department of Health for making this dashboard available as a resource to inform local decision making to help schools navigate how and when to consider in-person, hybrid and virtual instruction,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said.

Story by Chris Graham


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