TN Department of Education re-launches COVID dashboard after delay, spiking cases in schools

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Department of Education re-launched its COVID-19 data dashboard giving parents a clearer look into what’s happening in their child’s school.

The portal comes as the community spread of COVID is hovering around the highest it’s ever been in the state.

After a few weeks’ delay, folks can now see how many positive COVID-19 cases are in a particular school district.

“This is the data, numbers don’t lie so we need to follow the data, protect our children, and let’s make sure that they’re safe when they enter the schools,” said Rep. Vincent Dixie (D-Nashville).

The COVID dashboard breaks down searches by region, district, and date. The website also lists the number of students and staff out positive with COVID-19.

“A covid dashboard is important for transparency, it gives the community the opportunity to be aware of what’s going on — what’s happening inside of our schools,” said Dr. Paula Pendergrass, Vice President of MNEA.

As some schools closed their doors due to COVID, the dashboard could paint a better picture of why.

“We already have certain mitigation strategies that we are supposed to be adhering to do, having this data will also help teachers because teachers right now are having to take up the slack for their colleagues — who are having to quarantine,” said Pendergrass.

Educators are hopeful the new data will help keep communities healthy with timely and accurate data reporting.

“I am hopeful that this new data resource will help us to work together as a team to mitigate the risk of covid-19 and ensure that we set ourselves and students up for success currently,” Pendergrass said. “And even in the future as we possibly see other variants coming up.”

Attendance and enrollment information will be updated on the dashboard monthly.

Currently, the dashboard lists over 6,100 new COVID cases this week among students, and 1,007 staff members are out with the virus.

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