FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 10, 2020
Maria Reppas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekly Reporting of Four Data Points Available Today
(Richmond, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) began reporting information related to efforts to notify people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Information related to notification efforts — referred to as contact tracing — is available on the COVID-19 Data Insights webpage, located at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-data-insights/. The state-level data will be updated weekly on Fridays.
The ability to report this information is the result of a new data management system that VDH recently implemented. The data being reported includes the following:
- Percent of cases (individuals diagnosed with COVID-19) reached within 24 hours
- Number of contacts of cases who are undergoing public health monitoring
- Of contacts reached, percent contacted within 24 hours
- Percent of contacts that — after multiple attempts — were unable to be reached or have yet to be reached
A seven-day average will be provided in the “Percent of cases reached within 24 hours” category.
Contact tracing involves finding people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and providing guidance to prevent them from spreading it. Contact tracing is one of many trusted public health tools used to prevent further spread of contagious diseases. It has long been used for other contagious diseases like measles and tuberculosis (TB). Currently, contact tracing is one important part of how Virginia can slow the spread of COVID-19.
As Virginia began to see increased numbers of COVID-19 cases, VDH expanded its staff of contact tracers and case investigators in its 35 health districts from a few hundred to more than 1,200 at the end of June. This number represents a suggested ratio of 15 contact tracers per 100,000 population.
This contact tracing data is the latest publicly available COVID-19 data including the daily COVID-19 Cases in Virginia dashboard, Virginia’s Key Measures of COVID-19 Data and COVID-19 Case and Testing Data by ZIP Code.
For the latest information on the COVID-19 situation in Virginia, go to the VDH coronavirus webpage at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/.