New Virginia COVID-19 site guiding school re-entry weathers early glitches

Virginia’s new pandemic metrics dashboard, meant as a resource to help local school administrators determine whether it is safe for in-person learning to resume, was operating smoothly by mid-morning Tuesday after initial technical problems.

The Virginia Department of Health’s specialized dashboard will assist communities in monitoring case trends, disease transmission and the availability of hospital beds — but for hours after its debut Monday, many of the site’s features were not accessible.

The agency’s main coronavirus metrics page was offline early Tuesday morning, with a message citing “critical system maintenance” related to Tableau, the data visualization software Virginia uses for many of its COVID-19 pages.

“As a result of these issues occurring within a short timeframe, we were initially unable to bring the system or the dashboards immediately back online until this morning,” said Maria Reppas, a spokeswoman for the agency, in a statement.

The new, separate site includes a school metrics tab, which provides information to help local education officials determine whether they will be able to implement and adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s key mitigation strategies to decrease transmission of COVID-19.

The state health department encourages local governments and schools to work with Virginia’s regional health districts in evaluating how the virus is affecting their particular community.

“VDH recommends that decisions to alter K-12 school programming, including decisions about in-person instruction, school dismissals or closures be handled at the most local level possible, considering both regional and local epidemiology, community characteristics and local capacity,” according to the news release announcing the launch.

WTOP’s Alejandro Alvarez contributed to this report.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.


Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up