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BRHD retires COVID-19 dashboard

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The Blue Ridge Health District took down its local COVID-19 data portal Friday after maintaining the site for more than two years.

The data portal and its related dashboards have given community members regular updates on the state of the pandemic in the health district in an easy-to-read format. The portal was a labor of love for the district and helped inform local governments’ response plans.

The decision to retire the dashboard was driven by state-level actions regarding the presentation of COVID-19.

The dashboard’s deletion is not an indication that the health district is backing away from responding to the pandemic, spokeswoman Kathryn Goodman said. Cases currently are increasing in the area.

“We’re still in pandemic response,” Goodman said. “We’re still committed to monitoring and providing the latest data.”

The health district was one of the few to maintain a district-specific portal of COVID case data. BRHD announced its decision to take down the data portal after it was deleted.

Goodman said about three to four people in health district were responsible for keeping the dashboards going.

“We put a lot of work into the data portal,” she said, adding that district staff appreciated the feedback received. “It was countless hours. We were glad to be able to provide that information to the community.”

All the underlying data that was presented on the dashboard is still available through the Virginia Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“These retirements will streamline the available dashboards, better align with the data presentation of the CDC, and focus efforts on actionable data,” BRHD staff wrote in a newsletter Friday. “The CDC dashboard is considered the standard when it comes to cases by vaccination status, as the definition of vaccination status is rapidly changing nationwide.”

A guide to the available datasets is available on the BRHD website, vdh.virginia.gov/blue-ridge/covid-19-brhd-data-portal.

Earlier this week, VDH announced that it was going to retire four COVID-19 dashboards from public viewing as well as two data landing pages. The dashboards included cases by vaccination status, federal vaccine doses, vaccines received, and cases and deaths by date reported.

VDH said the decision was made because the information was either deemed redundant or of reduced interest.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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