Gwinnett County Public Schools is offering parents a new way to view data about COVID-19 cases in the district’s schools.
The school system launched a new COVID-19 dashboard on Thursday. The dashboard takes the numbers reported by schools in presents them in a number of ways, including graphs that show the rise and fall of case numbers of a period of time as well as tables that show the numbers.
As far as the daily numbers go, the dashboard shows the same information that can also be found in the daily PDF reports that GCPS has been posting on its website. Those reports continue to be posted in addition to the dashboard’s regular updates.
“We wanted to provide our community with reporting that would provide greater understanding of what’s happening in each individual school across our district and, perhaps most importantly, trends over time,” “ GCPS Chief Data Officer Debbie Durrence told school board members on Thursday. “So, today we want to introduce you to our new COVID-19 reporting dashboard.
“This tool is designed to present the same information shared in our reports, new cases reported each day as well as those actively out of our buildings, however in a new interactive format that provides more context for the information utilizing new tools and technologies previously not in place in Gwinnett County Public Schools.”
On Friday, GCPS reported 103 new confirmed COVID-19 cases as well as 18 new probable cases and 229 new close contacts, according to the dashboard. In terms of total active cases, there are 599 active confirmed cases, 92 probable cases and 820 close contacts.
The dashboard has two pages that visitors can toggle between. The first page shows new case numbers for the district and broken down by school. The second page shows all active confirmed and probable cases as well as all active close contacts and 14-day case trends.
The total case numbers available for both the district as a whole and by school. Parents can also set the dashboard’s settings so the only schools that are shown are those institutions within a specific cluster chosen by the parent from a drop down menu.
“It updates daily from the previous day’s information,” Durrence said. “Typically around 10 a.m., you’ll see an update, just like our PDF reports. It does show trend information ... over time by the case type as well as splitting that information up by staff and students.
“A new addition to this report includes the percentage of individuals represented by what you see on the screen.”
An example of the percentage figures now listed in the report is that the number of total active cases in the district represent 0.3% of all GCPS students and staff.
The Discovery Cluster had the lowest number of active confirmed cases — with only 10 confirmed cases in the entire cluster, four of which are at Discovery High School — as of Friday. Meanwhile, the Grayson Cluster has the highest number in GCPS, with a total of 53 active confirmed cases and about half of those being at Bay Creek and Couch middle schools combined.
Parents can also adjust the settings from a drop down menu that lets parents pick a specific school and see new cases, total active cases and trends over time.
Central Gwinnett High School, for example, has the highest number of active confirmed cases, with 17 in all as of Friday, while Duluth High School follows with 15 active confirmed cases.
The dashboard shows total active confirmed cases, as of Friday, were down significantly from where they were on Sept. 11, when there were 1,387 total confirmed cases. The numbers are up, however, from the 494 active confirmed cases present in the district on Sept. 20.
“(The dashboard) looks great,” school board Chairman Everton Blair told Durrence. “I would encourage the link to be maybe more visible and higher up on the (GCPS COVID information webpage).”