Polk County Public Schools has developed a COVID-19 data dashboard providing the most current information available on how the pandemic is impacting our schools.
To access this online resource, visit coviddashboard.polk-fl.net.
“We are committed to transparency and sharing the most accurate information available to all of our stakeholders,” said Superintendent Frederick Heid. “We need timely, accurate data so our parents, staff, and the entire community can better understand how COVID-19 is impacting our schools. They deserve to see how the district and individual school sites are managing the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.”
The dashboard will also help district leaders and health officials better monitor and address any areas of concern, Heid said.
The district’s Information Technology department created the data dashboard as a user-friendly tool that schools can update each day.
Schools will enter the number of new positive cases for students and staff, and the number of quarantines for students and staff. The dashboard’s data will be refreshed each night after 11:30 p.m.
Important Note: Mondays will likely have higher numbers due to schools entering cases being reported over the weekend.
Prior to the dashboard’s creation, PCPS released weekly updates of information from the Florida Department of Health.
“There was significant frustration that these weekly updates contained preliminary data that needed more vetting,” Heid said. “Schools can now enter any cases into the dashboard that might have been missed or reported late, and the dashboard will update during the next nightly upload. Overall, we will achieve a much higher level of certainty in the accuracy of this information.”
In addition to the dashboard, PCPS took another major step toward improving data reporting and contact tracing efforts.
Last week, the Polk County School Board voted to spend approximately $250,000 in COVID-relief funding to hire Medasource to provide additional contract tracers.
Currently, PCPS serves in a supporting role for the contract tracing efforts of the Florida Department of Health in Polk County. School staff help by pulling information (class lists, bus seating charts, etc.); schools also assist with notifying those who must quarantine.
“Having more contact tracers available through Medasource will help speed up the investigation and quarantine notification process,” Heid said. “In addition, schools will be able to more accurately and quickly enter cases and quarantines into the dashboard. We will better capture data and get a clearer picture of what’s happening in our school communities.”
Note: Schools were training and getting familiar with entering data into the dashboard from Aug. 23 to Aug. 29. Schools began to enter positive cases and quarantines more consistently on Aug. 30. The dashboard’s data following Aug. 30 is a more accurate reflection of COVID’s impact to schools throughout the district.