VDH rolls out COVID-19 dashboard for children

Published 7:28 pm Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases among children in the state since the end of the summer, the Virginia Department of Health has added information about cases, hospitalizations and deaths among children ages 0 to 17.

However, in its initial release of the children’s COVID-19 dashboard Oct. 18, it undercounted its data, especially among those hospitalized. In an update to the dashboard Oct. 19, it added 450 cases, 566 hospitalizations and a death to its statewide totals from March 15, 2020 to Oct. 9, 2021 — the last day for which it reported data in the children’s dashboard. It now reports a total of 128,347 cases, 946 hospitalizations and 10 deaths for that time period.

Statewide data for the two-week period from Sept. 25 through Oct. 9, the state department of health updated its total cases to 7,335. It reports 11 hospitalizations and two deaths. The two deaths appear to reflect those of Suffolk 10-year-old Teresa Sperry Sept. 27, and another case in the Eastern Region later that week.

In the Eastern Region, which includes all of the Western Tidewater Health District localities of Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight County and Southampton County along with localities on the Eastern Shore, South Hampton Roads and the Peninsula, VDH now reports 27,062 cases among children, up from 27,013. It also reports 406 hospitalizations for the region and three deaths since March 2020, with 1,706 cases, five children hospitalized and one death, though that still appears to undercount at least one death, since two children died in the Eastern Region in the same week in September.

In the Central Region, which includes Surry County as part of the Crater Health District, the state department of health’s dashboard now shows 23,643 cases from March 15, 2020 through Oct. 9, up 56 cases from what was initially recorded. It also recorded 118 hospitalizations – up from the 64 initially reported – and three deaths. In the most recent two-week period from Sept. 26 through Oct. 9, VDH now reports 1,427 cases, up close to 400 from the initial report, with seven hospitalized (up three hospitalizations) and no deaths reported.

There still appears to be discrepancies with data reported by health district. The children’s dashboard by early afternoon Oct. 19 showed slight differences from what was initially reported.

The percentage of pediatric COVID-19 cases statewide has ranged from 19.1% from the week ending July 17 to 24.4% of all cases for the week ending Aug. 28. As of the week ending Oct. 9, it was 23.3%. Those percentages were also updated from initial reports.

Once fully updated, the state department of health plans to report the case counts, the rate and percentage of all cases among children by week and by pediatric age group for children under 18. The dashboard will sort data by region and health district and will be in four age groups: 0 to 4, 5 to 11, 12 to 15 and 16 to 17. The dashboard will be updated weekly on Fridays.