JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County Public Schools has again made changes to its COVID-19 dashboard to improve the timeliness of reporting.
This time, the changes have to do with the timing and manner in which the school district enters data in its dashboard.
“Our goal from the first day of school has been to provide the Board and families with a clear understanding of how the pandemic is impacting our school buildings. This new process will better enable us to achieve that goal,” said Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene.
Starting Wednesday, the district began updating its Confirmed COVID-19 Case Dashboard as soon it is notified of cases and reports them to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH).
“We will no longer wait for the FDOH to confirm acceptance of the case and begin their case investigation. This will improve our transparency to families and the community regarding the timeliness and quantity of cases potentially impacting a school,” the superintendent said. “We recognize that there may be a few cases that the Department of Health may not confirm upon submission; however, this new approach will provide a clear picture of the reported cases potentially impacting a school.”
As of Wednesday evening, the dashboard showed 955 cases since Aug. 20, including 655 students and 300 staff. Hours earlier, the dashboard showed 785 total cases. The district said the reason for the significant increase was due to the dashboard changes.
The dashboard only reports DCPS employee or student cases impacting school operations. The total number of employees or students diagnosed with COVID-19 may be higher.
This is the second change the district has made to its process since the school year started.
At the beginning of the school year, the district entered data based on the confirmation of a case and the conclusion of a case investigation by the Department of Health. About two months later, the district updated the dashboard to show a case whenever DCPS confirms it and only those cases that trigger contact tracing, affecting school operations.
The latest update means the dashboard will show a case as soon as it’s reported to the district.
“Because of the time required for Department of Health case investigations, the district adjusted its process in November to begin posting cases on the dashboard once the Department of Health confirmed the case and began the contact tracing and case investigation,” the district said in an online post.