Loudoun County’s Office of Mapping and Geographic Information has updated its COVID-19 page in the county’s GeoHub to include interactive dashboards that illustrate key metrics important for decision-making regarding the region’s reopening.
These dashboards include the “gating criteria” that are important in determining reopening timelines regionally and in the Commonwealth and also include other key measures. Data is updated daily from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to provide information on testing totals, cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Loudoun County.
“By providing this additional data, we are assisting policymakers and keeping the public informed during the COVID-19 emergency,” said Dr. David Goodfriend, director of the Loudoun County Health Department.
The county’s data dashboard includes a map of Loudoun COVID-19 cases by ZIP Code. At the direction of Governor Ralph Northam, and in coordination with VDH, case rates are now presented by 5-digit ZIP codes. The recent data release is a change from VDH’s long-standing policy not to disclose data at the ZIP code level, which is particularly important to protect patient privacy when there are relatively few cases of a disease.
“Cases represent a place of residence and not necessarily where transmission may have occurred. This information should not be used to measure individual risk,” noted Goodfriend.
The data dashboard also links to key demographic data on COVID-19 cases in Loudoun and the Commonwealth, including hospitalizations and deaths by age, race, ethnicity and sex. “A link to the updated GeoHub information can be found under “Testing and Data” at loudoun.gov/coronavirus.
The governor’s guidelines for reopening Virginia follow a three-phase plan. Phase 1, “Safer at Home,” may be implemented in Northern Virginia as early as May 29, 2020. The timeline for Phase 1 and subsequent phases will be determined by monitoring gating criteria to determine when it is safe to progress to the next phase. These criteria include the number of cases, the number of positive tests, and percent positive; trends in the percentage of cases hospitalized; hospital bed and ICU capacity; and the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The hospital bed capacity and PPE availability for Loudoun and Northern Virginia are not represented on the county’s dashboard.
The Health Department continues to urge everyone to vigilantly practice the actions proven to help slow the spread of COVID-19. These include staying home as much as possible and especially when sick; frequent hand washing; covering coughs and sneezes; cleaning and disinfecting surfaces regularly; staying at least 6 feet apart from other people when outside the home; and wearing a cloth face covering over the nose and mouth when it is essential to be in public and social distancing practices are difficult to maintain.
Loudoun County encourages residents to stay informed about COVID-19.
Visit loudoun.gov/coronavirus for more information about how to protect yourself and your family and to sign up for email and text updates on COVID-19.
Residents with questions about COVID-19 may call the Loudoun County Health Department’s information line, 703-737-8300, or send an email.
# # #