About the Data

During the COVID-19 public health emergency in Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is reporting more detailed, near real-time health data than ever before. VDH receives additional information about COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths every day. This new information may result in slight changes in previously reported case, hospitalization, or death counts in your community or within the state.  Please note that data are considered preliminary and subject to change. VDH strives to provide accurate and timely data to the public through ongoing and comprehensive data assurance and quality efforts. To learn more about interpreting epidemiologic data, please visit our Data Insights page

Data updated on the VDH COVID-19 website each day are based on data from VDH surveillance data systems as of 5:00pm the night before. It is important to note a couple of things: 

  • A case is only counted once, even if a person has multiple positive tests.  However, there are very rare instances where a person may be counted as more than one case. This may happen when a person tests positive again after 90 days from the first test, which could indicate potential re-infection. Re-infection is still being analyzed in Virginia, and no cases have yet been reported. You can find more information about how VDH defines a case here. It is important to note that a case definition may continue to change over time as we learn more about that disease, especially for newly emerging diseases like COVID-19. 
  • VDH counts cases in Virginia residents. People who test positive in Virginia but live in another state are reported in that state’s totals.
  • VDH collects information about hospitalizations during the public health investigations. Hospitals do not directly report their COVID-19 hospitalizations to VDH. Hospitals report their COVID-19 hospitalizations to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA). This means that the number of hospitalizations on VDH’s web page may be under-represented. For more detailed information on hospitalizations, please visit https://www.vhha.com/communications/virginia-hospital-covid-19-data-dashboard/.

VDH uses a couple of data systems to track and report data on COVID-19.

The Virginia Electronic Disease Surveillance System (VEDSS) is the system VDH uses to report, track, and manage laboratory data and case investigations of reportable diseases in Virginia.

The Virginia Outbreak Surveillance System (VOSS) is the surveillance system used to report, track, and manage outbreak investigations of reportable diseases or other health conditions in Virginia.

Case and hospitalization data: Case and hospitalization data from public health investigations are entered in the Virginia Electronic Disease Surveillance System (VEDSS) each day. Public health investigations are where public health staff gather information from the patient or healthcare provider about a patient who is ill or who has a positive test for COVID-19. 

Death data: Death data from public health investigations are entered in VEDSS each day. Death data from VEDSS are matched with death certificate data from Vital Records for additional information, such as race/ethnicity and sex. Sometimes a death certificate is received for a person who has not initially been identified as having passed away in the VEDSS record. These cases are reviewed to see if they meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed and probable surveillance case definitions for deaths and if appropriate, their VEDSS record will be updated with the information from the death certificate. Finally, if the death certificate indicates a person died from COVID-19 but no laboratory report is available to confirm the cause of death, this is noted as a death of a 'probable' case.

Testing data: Private and public laboratories report COVID-19 positive and negative test results to VDH on a daily basis, either through electronic or paper-based submission. Testing data can help VDH identify new cases or new information about known cases, but it is a separate data source from case data.

VDH developed the VDH Geography Locator Tool, which is located on the VDH Data web page. This interactive dashboard shows the locality (city or county), health district, and health region when a specific locality of interest is selected from the drop down menu. There is also a link to the Geography Locator Tool on the COVID-19 Daily Dashboard page.

Percent positivity is a measure of the number of positive lab tests divided by the number of total lab tests conducted on the same day. This measure gives an idea of the positivity rate for testing on a given day but can fluctuate dramatically depending on the number of tests given. For example, if on a given day, there are numerous community testing events where anyone can be tested, even if not symptomatic or exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 (a group that we don’t expect to have a lot of COVID-19), the percent positivity may be very low because few people will be positive out of the large number tested. On a separate day, if a lot of people in a closed facility with known exposures and transmission are tested (a group we expect to have a lot of positive cases), the percent positivity may be higher. 

Percent positivity, 7-day moving average is an average of the percent positivity individually per day (positive PCR tests over total PCR tests completed); then the most recent seven days are averaged to yield the 7-day moving average. Because different days will have different total tests completed, each test won't necessarily be weighted the same. Individual testing encounters on days with low volume will have greater weight than individual testing encounters on days with higher volume. There is some lag in when VDH receives testing data, so we do not calculate percent positivity for the most recent three days. 

Cases, 7-day average is the number of cases, hospitalizations or deaths reported each day; then this number across the last 7 days of data is averaged together. This smooths the typical fluctuation in cases reported. This data point is useful to identify trends in whether the cases are increasing or decreasing.

Daily case incidence rate is calculated by dividing the daily number of new cases for a specific geographic area (i.e. county, city, state) by the number of people living in that area and multiplying by 100,000. This creates a value that offers a standardized way to compare counties or cities with populations of varying size in Virginia.  For example, if the city of Richmond has 100 cases and the city of Radford has 100 cases, the rate in Richmond will be much lower because the number of people living in Richmond is much higher than in Radford. 

Case incidence rate, 7-day moving average is the average of rates over the previous 7 days and helps to smooth the data so that any given day with a high or low rate does not skew the data. 

Case incidence rate, past 14 days is calculated by dividing the total number of new cases in the past 14 days for a specific geographic area (i.e. county, city, state) by the number of people living in that area, and multiplying by 100,000. This calculation differs from the daily case incidence rate because it captures the case incidence across 14 days instead of a single day. Fourteen days is used because it is the typical amount of time between being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 and when symptoms start.

Number of testing encounters, 7-day moving average is the number of testing encounters that occurs over 7 days and divided by 7 (average). This measure helps us to understand the testing capacity in Virginia, including how many people were tested each day, and to smooth the data so that any given day with a high or low number of testing encounters does not skew the data.

Rates per 100,000 population is a common calculation used in public health that offers a standardized way to compare the burden of disease across different geographic areas and time. VDH uses population size statistics for each geographic area compiled by the CDC National Center for Health Statistics. A rate is calculated by dividing the number of events (e.g. cases or deaths) in a geographic area by the population of that area, and multiplying by 100,000. This rate can then be compared to rates in other areas, regardless of population size.

List of Virginia COVID-19 Data Dashboards

Below are brief descriptions of COVID-19 data dashboards presenting data on COVID-19 testing, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Virginia as well as detailed information on key measures, modeling, and metrics for the COVID-19 pandemic in the Commonwealth. This list will be updated routinely as new data and information on COVID-19 become available.

COVID-19 Daily Dashboard is a series of web pages with interactive data dashboards that provide detailed daily updates about COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. This dashboard consists of seven web pages that can be accessed by clicking on the buttons at the top of the main web page, as shown below. All data are updated daily before 10:00 am. All data are preliminary and subject to change.

Summary page: This dashboard presents a summary of the daily statewide numbers for cases, hospitalizations, deaths, outbreaks, testing, and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).  The metrics presented include: 

  • Total confirmed and probable cases, hospitalizations, and deaths
  • Number of cases reported to VDH in the past 24 hours
  • Total outbreaks and the number of outbreak-associated cases
  • Total number of PCR only testing encounters and current 7-day percent positivity for PCR only
  • Total number of MIS-C cases and deaths

Cases page: This dashboard presents the cumulative (total) number of confirmed and probable cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Virginia; a map at the city or county level that shows cases, hospitalizations, and deaths by counts or by rates per 100,000 population; and an interactive graph that shows the trends of cases by date of symptom onset, hospitalizations by date of hospital admission, and deaths by date of death, including a seven-day moving average. The trend graphs are available at the state and regional levels.

Demographics page: This dashboard presents demographic data, including age groups, race and ethnicity, and sex for cases, hospitalizations, and deaths at the health district level.

Locality page: This dashboard presents counts or rates by locality for cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. The page includes four metrics: number of new cases reported in the past 24 hours, 7-day average number of daily new cases reported, number of new cases reported using rate per 100,000 population, and 7-day average of new cases reported using rate per 100,000 population. The graph and the metrics will automatically update based on the locality and measure selected via the drop down menus. There is also a graph that shows the daily count of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths by report date. This graph automatically updates based on the locality and measure selected at the top of the page. The table at the bottom presents counts or rates for cases, hospitalizations, and deaths for all localities in Virginia.

Outbreaks page: This dashboard presents data about outbreaks at the health district level and includes data on outbreak-associated cases and outbreaks by facility type (long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, and congregate, healthcare, and educational settings).  This tab also includes state-level case and death counts by outbreak facility type, and a graph that shows the number and facility type of outbreak by the date reported to VDH.

Testing page: This dashboard presents testing data at the health district level, including the number of testing encounters, the number of positive testing encounters, and the percent positivity by the lab report date. Additional information about how VDH calculates the number of people tested can be found here.

MIS-C page: This dashboard presents data at the state and health district level on the number of cases and deaths of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children.

Virginia’s Key COVID-19 Measures Dashboard is an interactive dashboard that presents data at the state and regional level of the main measures that government and community leaders use to make decisions on how to keep Virginians healthy and safe. The data on this page are monitored to help inform Forward Virginia guidelines. The five Key Measures Virginia uses are:

  • Number of new cases and deaths associated with COVID-19 by report date and by date of symptom onset or date of death. For cases, the date of symptom onset is the closest date to when a person’s symptoms began. This measure shows increasing or decreasing trends in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Virginia. 
  • Number of hospital beds occupied. This measure shows the capacity, or the amount of bed space, that is available in Virginia hospitals to take care of patients. VHHA provides these data to VDH on a daily basis. 
  • Number of patients hospitalized with a positive or pending COVID-19 test. Pending means that the patient is waiting for test results. This measure shows how many people are currently receiving care in the hospital who have or who may have COVID-19. VHHA also provides these data.
  • Number of hospitals reporting difficulty with getting personal protective equipment (PPE), in the next 72 hours. This measure helps us understand if and where PPE is needed, so necessary resources can be provided to healthcare workers and other essential staff. PPE data also come from VHHA. 
  • Testing, including the number of people tested, the number of positive tests, and the percent positivity. This is for PCR tests only. PCR tests are the main tests used to diagnose a person with COVID-19. This measure shows Virginia’s current testing capacity for COVID-19. The measure also presents the percent positivity, or how many positive COVID-19 tests there were out of the total number of COVID-19 tests. This measure helps us understand how many people test positive for COVID-19 out of the total number of people tested on a given day, which shows us how much COVID-19 is being spread within a community. 

Pandemic Metrics Dashboard, which is in the Virginia’s Key COVID-19 Measures dashboard, presents metrics that describe the current transmission of COVID-19 in Virginia and how transmission has changed over time. This dashboard can be used to help guide mitigation measures needed to reduce the impact of COVID-19. VDH calculated the transmission level by combining burden and trend metrics. These metrics are compiled from Virginia’s Key Measures and other available data. Metrics are shown at the regional level. For the Pandemic Metrics dashboard only, the Southwest region is divided into ‘Near Southwest’ and ‘Far Southwest’. You can find more detailed information on the methods used to create the dashboard here

Additionally, Indicators for Dynamic School Decision-Making developed by CDC for school settings are presented. These metrics and thresholds can help communities better understand the risk of introduction and transmission of COVID-19 in schools.  Local decision makers can consider these metrics to help guide decisions related to school programming.  You can find more detailed information on these indicators here.

COVID-19 Data Insight Dashboards provide more detailed insights into data related to COVID-19 in Virginia. This page currently includes five (5) dashboards:

COVID-19 Cases and Number of PCR Testing Encounters by Zip Code: This dashboard presents data on the number of cases or number of PCR testing encounters by zip code in Virginia. It includes map and table features where a specific zip code of interest can be entered into a text box, and the data will automatically update to display data for the specific zip code chosen.

COVID-Like Illness Visits: This dashboard presents data at the state, regional, and health district level on COVID-like illness from emergency departments and urgent care centers in Virginia.  This dashboard also presents state-level data on COVID-like illness hospitalizations.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing: This dashboard presents the four outcomes monitored at the state level for contact tracing efforts: the percent of cases reached within 24 hours, 7 day average; the number of contacts under public health monitoring; the percent of contacts VDH has not been able to reach to date; and the percent of contacts reached within 24 hours among all contacts that were able to be reached.

UVA COVID-19 Model: This dashboard, in collaboration with the University of Virginia, presents modeling data at the metropolitan area, health district, and locality levels to show the estimated impact of phased reopening and improved testing and contact tracing on the number of COVID-19 cases avoided. This dashboard also displays different scenarios and projections based on data trends, such as if the number of cases remained steady, declined, or surged in Virginia and within local communities.

COVID-19 Outbreaks Associated with Meat and Poultry Processing Plants in Virginia: This dashboard presents data on COVID-19 outbreaks associated with meat and poultry processing plants in Virginia. The dashboard includes data on confirmed cases, hospitalizations, and deaths statewide associated with COVID-19 outbreaks in meat and poultry processing plants. The dashboard also presents confirmed cases associated with these outbreaks at the regional level, and how the outbreaks have changed over time. These data are updated on a monthly basis at the beginning of each month and can be found under the COVID-19 Data Insights Blog section.

COVID-19 Outbreaks in School Settings: This dashboard presents a list of public and private K-12 schools in Virginia that are currently experiencing or have experienced a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak. Distinct COVID-19 outbreaks reported to VDH among K-12 schools are listed by the locality, school name, outbreak status, when VDH was notified about the outbreak, number of cases and deaths.

Long-Term Care Task Force Dashboards provide data and resources for long-term care (LTC) facilities in Virginia impacted by COVID-19. LTC facilities include nursing homes, assisted living or multi-care facilities.

PCR Test Positivity Rates by Locality: This dashboard presents testing data at the locality level, including the number of PCR testing encounters, the number of positive PCR testing encounters, and the PCR percent positivity for the most recent two 14-day periods based on the lab report date.

LTC Facilities Reporting Outbreaks of COVID-19: This dashboard presents a list of LTC facilities that are currently experiencing or have experienced a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.