JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Duval County Public Schools says they will no longer be waiting for cases to be confirmed by the Department of Health before adding them to the dashboard.
The district tells Action News Jax there is a major backlog of pending cases.
And that’s one of the big reasons why the district says they decided to make this change.
Before the update, the dashboard showed 785 cases districtwide since the start of school. After the update, it shows 955. That’s an increase of 170 cases.
The district says it’s a high number because Wednesday’s update included the backlog of pending cases from last week as well.
Cases are now being entered at the time the district becomes aware of the case and reports it to the Department of Health.
DCPS teacher Chris Guerrieri says, “Anything the district does to be more transparent is definitely a good thing.”
Before the district had been waiting until the Department of Health confirmed the case.
A system that the district tells us worked at first, but quickly became outdated as a backlog of cases began piling up.
Guerrieri says while this is a good update, he believes it doesn’t fix the issues with contact tracing.
“I think people need to realize even if this case does get reported to the dashboard, contact tracing isn’t going to start until the DOH gets there. So this kid could have been sick for days.”
The Department of Health Duval County is in charge of contract tracing under state law.
On night one of the new change, the district added 170 new cases, 54 staff, and 116 students.
Pending cases that the district says were backlogged since the return of students and staff last Tuesday.
Guerrieri says more needs to be done especially when it comes to contact tracing.
“Until we take that seriously it’s sprinkles on ice cream It looks pretty but it really doesn’t make a difference.”
The district tells us it’s hoping with this new change, the dashboard will be more accurate and timely for the community.