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DCPS COVID-19 dashboard on hold due to privacy concerns

Duval County Public Schools has put it's plan to publish data about positive COVID-19 cases in schools on hold ...at least for the time being. News4Jax reporter Jennifer Ready is live in downtown Jacksonville this morning.
Duval County Public Schools has put it's plan to publish data about positive COVID-19 cases in schools on hold ...at least for the time being. News4Jax reporter Jennifer Ready is live in downtown Jacksonville this morning.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After the Duval County School District said it was working on a way to inform parents and students of COVID-19 cases reported in schools, the district announced Wednesday those plans are now on hold.

The district said the Florida Department of Health in Duval notified the school district on Tuesday that under Florida Statute 381.0031, the district cannot publish school-specific data related to COVID-19 without permission from the Florida Department of Health at the state level.

“Earlier this week, the district began publishing positive COVID-19 case counts by school on its news website in anticipation of an automated dashboard providing the same information in the near future,” the district wrote on its website. “Duval County Public Schools is now working closely with the Department of Health to ensure that we provide accurate and timely data and to seek the necessary permission to publish this information.”

As of Tuesday, the school district said it was aware of six cases in six schools since students returned to class.

The district previously said the dashboard would display confirmed cases on school campuses among students and staff and that it will be updated overnight.

The district says parents will receive a robocall “with a general notification if a positive case impacts other students at the school. No robocall will be made if the positive case does not impact other students at the school.”

DCPS said the Department of Health is developing a report with information pertaining to educational institutions.

“Duval County Public Schools believes this is important information for families to have as they make decisions regarding enrollment options now and in the future. The district hopes that we are able to resolve this situation soon,” the district said.

News4Jax has emailed the Department of Health to get more clarification on the decision. We will update this story when we receive a reply.

DCPS says one of three scenarios will determine whether a classroom should be closed. They include:

  • One person confirmed positive and two with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
  • Two people or more confirmed positive and one or more with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
  • Three people or more with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Additionally, DCPS says a school will be closed if 20% of a school reports exposure to the virus.


About the Author:

Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.