Ridgefield schools to track COVID-19 data online

Ridgefield Public Schools have launched a dashboard on their website to publicly track instances of COVID-19.

Ridgefield Public Schools have launched a dashboard on their website to publicly track instances of COVID-19.

Contributed photo / Ridgefield Public Schools

RIDGEFIELD — A COVID-19 data-tracker with information about known cases — the date of potential exposure, the school, whether a case is “known” or “probable” and the number of people told to quarantine — has been launched by the Ridgefield Public School system.

The information is available at on the schools’ page at ridgefield.org by scrolling down to to the COVID-19 tracker on the right hand side.

Cases listed

On Thursday, Oct. 29, 10 listings were on the tracker, or “dashboard” as it was called it during discussion at the school board meeting Monday.

The most recent listed the case that sent students home Thursday, Oct. 29, from Branchville Elementary School. The entry read:

“10/22-10/23 2020 — BES, 1 probable case. 19 students and 9 staff members placed in quarantine for 14 days.”

The date or dates listed is the time of potential exposure, which isn’t always the same as the date the situation came to be known by school officials.

“This is the dashboard,” Aaron Crook, the school COVID-19 liaison told the school board.

“We have quarantined a significant number of staff and students over the span of time,” he added.

“So far we haven’t had any of the people we’ve placed in quarantine test positive, and that’s a good thing.”

Board member Sean McEvoy had a concern that the dashboard as displayed at the meeting might be confusing to parents.

“It needs to be really clear for people,” McEvoy said. “You could make it easier to deal with.”

In the board’s brief discussion there was some talk of simplifying the dashboard’s design — but Crook resisted too much simplification.

“I’m definitely open to feedback on the dashboard,” he said. “I’d be hesitant to create a dashboard that tells parents a green light or a red light.”

New board member Tina Malhotra was supportive of the dashboard concept, comparing it to the series of emails that had updated parents repeatedly as the situation unfolded with four cases across the two middle schools coming to light over the course of the weekend.

“Parents were just confused.” Malhotra said. “I think the dashboard’s a great idea.”