November 17, 2021
For Immediate Release Media Contact
Cindy Clayton, VDH PIO
Virginia Department of Health Announces Health Equity Dashboard
Data Provides Clear Look at COVID-19 Equity at the Local Level
(Richmond, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced the launch of a new COVID-19 Health Equity Dashboard. This enhancement to the dashboards is another step in VDH’s continued efforts to provide timely and accurate information to the public about COVID-19’s impact on different communities.
The Health Equity Dashboard uses rate ratios to explore COVID-19 disparities among racial and ethnic groups in Virginia. Rate ratios, which compare rates in a population of interest to a reference population, are a common method to compare differences in outcomes between groups. The dashboards include a dropdown menu that allows users to examine disparities within individual Local Health Districts (LHDs). An accompanying blog post on the Data Insights page examines changes in Virginia’s rate ratios over time, including a discussion of the implications.
The dashboard compares case, hospitalization, death, and vaccination rates among Virginia’s Asian or Pacific Islander, Black, and Latino populations to the White population, the state’s largest racial group and the dashboard’s reference population. The dashboard includes two charts. The first shows rate ratios for the entirety of the pandemic, while the second shows changes over time.
Statewide, hospitalizations of Black and Latino Virginians occurred at approximately twice the rate of White Virginians. Asian and Pacific Islanders and Latinos have been vaccinated at a higher rate than Whites in Virginia, while Black Virginians lag slightly. Statewide, rate ratios in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths for these groups have tended to decline, while rate ratios for vaccinations have tended to increase, indicating an improving situation in both areas.
VDH has provided data on cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccinations on the Demographics dashboards. The Health Equity Dashboard consolidates this data in a single dashboard, and provides a clearer view of differences between groups, allowing users to understand how COVID-19 is affecting their community. The accompanying blog post describes how these ratios have changed statewide, particularly as vaccinations have increased in some at-risk communities.
Vaccination remains the most important and effective way to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Virginians who haven’t received a dose of vaccine should consider being vaccinated not only to protect themselves, but others in the community such as children under age 5, those who have weakened immune systems or those who cannot be vaccinated for other reasons.
Virginians who have not been fully vaccinated or are eligible for booster doses, can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (877) 829-4682 to find nearby vaccination clinics. Everyone should continue to follow public health recommendations, such as wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. To learn more about vaccination for COVID-19 in Virginia, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-faq/vaccination/