About the Data

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is reporting more detailed, near real-time health data than ever before. VDH receives more 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 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: 

  • Most often, a case is only counted once, even if a person has multiple positive tests.  However, there are 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, or when a person tests positive for COVID-19 with a different SARS-CoV-2 variant, which could indicate potential re-infection. On September 1, 2021, VDH adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 2021 Case Definition. This definition provides criteria for counting a new case of COVID-19 in the same person separately from a case that was already counted in Virginia. Re-infection of COVID-19 is still being analyzed in Virginia.
  • 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 these data systems below 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.

The Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS) is a free statewide registry, which includes immunization (vaccine) history for people of all ages living 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 confirmed and probable surveillance case definitions for deaths. If appropriate, their VEDSS record will be updated with the information from the death certificate.  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.

Vaccine administered data: Healthcare providers who are a part of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program are required to enter data into VIIS daily. Vaccines administered are reported to VIIS, which requires First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, Vaccine Administered, and Date of Administration for each vaccine dose administered. Providing additional demographic information to distinguish people from each other such as Middle Name, Sex, Address, Phone, Race, and Ethnicity is encouraged. Phone number allows people to receive reminders to get their second dose of vaccine, if needed.

Vaccine received data: Available to VDH through CDC VTrckS Ordering System. This information will be updated daily. The date of vaccines received is the date the vaccine is shipped to a provider.

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

Percent positivity is the number of positive lab tests divided by the number of total lab tests from the same day. This measure gives an idea of the positivity rate for testing on a given day.  It can fluctuate a lot depending on the number of tests given.

For example, on one day, there are many community testing events where anyone can be tested. If many people do not have symptoms or are exposed to a 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. This is because few people will be positive out of the large number tested. On another day, if a lot of people in a closed facility with symptoms and known exposures (a group we expect to have a lot of positive cases) are tested, 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 levels out the typical fluctuation in cases reported. This data point is useful to show whether the cases are increasing or decreasing.

Daily case incidence rate is dividing the daily number of new cases for a 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.  This is 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 per 100,000 over the previous 7 days. The moving average helps to level out the data so that any day with a high or low rate does not skew the data.

Case incidence rate, past 14 days is dividing the total number of new cases in the past 14 days for a 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. This measure also helps to level out the data so that any day with a high or low number of testing encounters does not skew the data. 

Report date versus event date: VDH presents COVID-19 data using two different dates. Both dates are important to show COVID-19 burden and trends over time.

  • Report date means the date reported on the VDH website.
  • Event date is defined as the following for each of the measures:
    • Cases: by date of symptom onset (when symptoms first began) or when test specimens were collected for people without symptoms
    • Hospitalizations: by date of hospital admission
    • Deaths: by date of death

Presenting data by report date allows for VDH to publish more detailed information, such as data by demographic populations or smaller geographic areas. Presenting data by event date at more detailed levels could potentially identify a person who is a part of a case investigation. It is a fine balance between presenting as much data as possible while also protecting a person’s personal health information.

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, vaccinations, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Virginia as well as detailed information on key measures, modeling, and metrics for the COVID-19 pandemic in Virginia.  This list will be updated routinely as new data and information on COVID-19 become available. 

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

  • Cases and Testing
    • Summary : 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: 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: This dashboard presents demographic data, including age groups, race and ethnicity, and sex for cases, hospitalizations, and deaths at the health district level.
    • Locality: 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: 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: 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.
    • Level of Community Transmission: This dashboard presents metrics that describe the current transmission, or spread, of COVID-19 in Virginia and how transmission has changed over time. This dashboard can be used to help guide prevention measures needed to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in communities.
    • Cases by Vaccination Status: This dashboard allows comparison of the rate of persons with COVID-19 who are fully, partially, and unvaccinated. Counts of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths of people who are fully vaccinated, called vaccine breakthrough, are available at the state and health region levels.
    • VHHA Hospitalizations: This dashboard was developed by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) to give daily updates on COVID-19 patients who are currently hospitalized or discharged as reported by more than 100 hospitals to the Virginia Healthcare Alerting Status System
    • Health Equity: This dashboard compares rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccinations by race and ethnicity to track health disparities. Disparities are differences in health status among populations.
  • Vaccine
    • Summary: This dashboard presents vaccine data on the number of vaccines administered (number of doses given to people) with measures for total doses administered, people vaccinated with at least one dose (got one dose of a single-dose vaccine or one dose of a two-dose vaccine), people fully vaccinated (got one dose of a single-dose vaccine or two doses of a two-dose vaccine), the percent of the Virginia population vaccinated with at least one dose, and the percent of the Virginia population fully vaccinated.
    • Vaccines Received: This dashboard presents vaccine data on the number of vaccines received (doses of vaccine sent to healthcare providers in Virginia to administer to people); including doses received through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership and FEMA Community Vaccination Centers. It shows measures for total doses received and the percent of doses administered out of the total received for Virginia as well as by facility type.
    • Demographics: This dashboard presents demographic data in counts and rates per 100,000 population on people vaccinated with at least one dose or who are fully vaccinated by age group, race and ethnicity, and sex at the locality level.
    • Federal Doses: This dashboard presents data on the total federal doses administered by federal agencies in Virginia, including Bureau of Prisons, Department of Defense, Indian Health Service, and Veterans Administration. Doses administered by federal agencies in Virginia are not entered in the Virginia Immunization Information System.

COVID-19 Data Insight Dashboards provide more detailed insights into data related to COVID-19 in Virginia. This page currently includes the following dashboards:

  • 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 Indicators: 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.
  • Weekly Health District Case Data: This dashboard presents the number of COVID-19 cases by week for each of Virginia’s 35 health districts. The number of COVID-19 cases can be selected by age group, race/ethnicity group, and the percent of cases associated with a congregate setting. A congregate setting is defined as a nursing home, assisted living, multi-care or correctional facility.
  • Variants of Concern: This dashboard lists the number of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths caused by a variant of concern reported in Virginia. Variants of concern are mutations in the virus that causes COVID-19. Variants are identified by additional laboratory testing of specimens positive for COVID-19. Types of variants of concern are presented by the region and by the health district where the person infected by a variant of concern lives. This dashboard also includes demographic information including age group, ethnicity and race, and sex. These data are updated weekly on Fridays.
  • MIS-C: This dashboard presents data at the state and health district level on the number of cases and deaths of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children.
  • ZIP Code: This dashboard presents data on the number of COVID-19 cases or number of PCR testing encounters by zip code in Virginia. It includes a map and table features where a specific zip code of interest can be entered into a text box, and the data will update to display data for the specific zip code entered.
  • Cases and Deaths by Date Reported: This dashboard presents the number of new cases and deaths associated with COVID-19 by date reported to VDH. This measure shows increasing or decreasing trends in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Virginia and by region.
  • COVID-19 Outbreaks by Selected Exposure Settings: This dashboard presents outbreaks that occurred in medical care facilities, residential or day programs licensed by VDH, Department of Social Services (DSS) or Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), summer camps, colleges and universities, and kindergarten (K)-12th grade schools.

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.