Starting January 1, 2022, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will use a new COVID-19 outbreak definition. It will change the smallest number of cases needed to classify an outbreak from 2 cases to 3 cases. This new definition will only apply to all COVID-19 outbreaks reported to VDH on or after January 1, 2022. No changes will be made to the outbreaks reported on the COVID-19 Outbreaks and COVID-19 Outbreaks in Selected Exposure Settings prior to January 1, 2022.
As a reminder: All data are preliminary and subject to change.
Dashboard Updated: Weekly on Friday
Rationale: This dashboard includes confirmed and suspected COVID-19 outbreaks since August 1, 2021 that have been reported in medical care facilities, residential or day programs licensed by Virginia Department of Health (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.
- Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) included are facilities that are non-medical residential settings that provide or coordinate personal and health care services, 24-hour supervision, and assistance for the care of four or more adults who are aged, sick, or disabled. This care may be provided in one or more locations. ALFs are licensed by DSS.
- Colleges and Universities: Public and Private Colleges in Virginia
- Day Programs included are those licensed by DSS with 30 or more clients and staff and may be listed as ‘Adult Daycare’ or ‘Daycare/Pre-K’ on the dashboard.
- K-12 Schools included are public or private elementary, middle, or high schools that provide kindergarten through 12th grade education instruction with 30 or more students and staff members. K-12 school outbreaks may include pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) students if Pre-K instruction occurs at a K-12 school.
- Medical Care Facilities included are those defined here .
- Multicare Facilities include facilities that offer multiple types of services (e.g. skilled nursing, assisted living, rehabilitation, etc.). An example would be a facility that has a skilled nursing section, regulated by VDH’s Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and an assisted living section, licensed by DSS.
- Nursing Homes include facilities in which the primary function is to provide nursing services and health-related services for the treatment and inpatient care of two or more non-related individuals on a continuing basis. Nursing homes are regulated by VDH’s OLC.
- Residential Programs included are those licensed by DBHDS with 30 or more clients and staff and may be listed as ‘Group Home’ or ‘Behavioral Health’ facility types on the dashboard.
- Summer Camps include any camp listed or advertised as a summer camp, regardless of licensing, with 30 or more clients and staff.
To find out more about an outbreak or the measures in place to protect the population affected, please contact the facility listed.
Data Systems Used by VDH for Outbreak Data Monitoring:
VDH uses data from the Virginia Outbreak Surveillance System (VOSS) and the Virginia Electronic Disease Surveillance System (VEDSS). VOSS manages reported outbreaks, while VEDSS manages laboratory data and case investigations. The two systems complement each other but do not contain the same data.
- Public Health Investigation Status is defined as:
- Outbreak in Progress: when the outbreak is ongoing and cases are still being reported and investigated.
- Outbreak Pending Closure: if 28 days have passed without a documented new case and the outbreak has not yet been closed in VOSS. There may be delays in confirming the outbreak investigation is closed because the health department has to collect and process the data. This status only refers to the outbreak investigation pending closure in VOSS and not the facility closing.
- Outbreak Closed: when two incubation periods, or the number of days between being infected with COVID-19 and possibly showing symptoms, (28 days) have passed without onset of new illness and the health district has closed the outbreak in VOSS. This status does not refer to the facility being closed.
VDH follows the CDC COVID-19 Case Definitions for classifying “confirmed” and “probable” cases.
Important Notes about Outbreak-Related Data:
- The numbers listed only include cases and deaths that are linked to one of these facility outbreaks. If an employee, resident, student, client, or patient tests positive for COVID-19 but their exposure to the virus was determined to be outside of the setting, and they did not pass the virus on to anyone in the facility, then this case will not be counted on this dashboard.
- Some facilities may have more than one COVID-19 outbreak occurring at the same time in different settings or may have multiple COVID-19 outbreaks over the course of the pandemic. If this happens, the facility name will appear with more than one outbreak associated with it shown by different notification dates on the dashboard. An example of this would be an outbreak in two different units of a hospital. Due to confidentiality concerns, this dashboard reports outbreaks at the facility level, and not in a particular unit or subsection.
- Any client, employee, student, or visitor identified as a part of an outbreak during the local health department investigation are included in the number of cases or deaths reported for that outbreak.
- Cases or deaths associated with each outbreak represent all persons involved and are based on the information in VOSS and VEDSS. Cases and deaths listed per facility are cumulative (total) counts for that specific outbreak.
- To help protect anonymity of cases, if fewer than 5 cases or between 0 and 5 deaths are associated with a facility outbreak, the counts will be represented by an asterisk (*).
- Outbreaks are only reported for residential or day programs, K-12 schools, or summer camps that have at least 30 enrolled students or residents and staff.
- The dashboard is updated once a week on Fridays. Weekly updates help support ongoing data collection, quality assurance, and communications prior to public posting.
The dashboard is updated with outbreaks from the week prior, through Saturday.
Comparison of VDH Data to CMS Nursing Home Data:
On June 4, 2020, CMS posted its first report outlining COVID-19 data reported by nursing homes. Nursing facilities report these data to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). The public is able to view facility-specific data about COVID-19 cases, deaths, and more. Due to different reporting requirements and case classifications, timelines, and other factors, the CMS data will likely be inconsistent with data reported by VDH.
The VDH surveillance case definitions are specific, especially for cases that are considered ‘probable.’ The NHSN definitions for residents and staff are not based on epidemiological linkages or other detailed information that public health collects, such as laboratory results based on symptoms and possible exposures by being in a facility.
Because NHSN only collects information on the number of residents or staff with a newly positive SARS-CoV-2 viral test result, there will be differences between what is being counted at the state versus what is being reported to NHSN.
K-12 Schools, Colleges and Universities: The presence of an outbreak at a school does not reflect a school's ability to educate its students or to protect the health and safety of its school community. Schools and local health departments work together to identify best practices to prevent and control COVID-19 in schools and to promote a healthy learning environment for students and staff. To find out more about an outbreak or the measures in place to protect students, staff, and visitors, please contact the school.
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