District Nurse breaks down School COVID-19 Dashboard reporting process

Reporting COVID-19 cases in schools

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Even after the school COVID-19 Dashboard was released, there were still lots of questions about the reporting process. District nurses say the reporting process is easy and can be done in minutes.

However, the harder part is reminding people to call your local nursing staff with COVID-19 reports so they can have accurate numbers to report.

In a couple swipes and clicks, Midfield City School’s lead nurse was able to send in the district’s school COVID-19 data right from her phone within minutes. The data input asks for total student cases, employee cases, and the total number of cases in the district.

“Once we come in that Tuesday, if we haven’t had any, we put 0,” said Pamela Phillips, district lead nurse of Midfield City Schools.

Nurses are required to submit the data every Tuesday and the dashboard is updated for the public every Friday. The latest update shows a total of 1,592 cases statewide.

As the lead nurse, Pamela Phillips compiles COVID-19 case reports from each Midfield City School to create a district report for the dashboard. She says nursing staff primarily rely on employee and parents self-reporting COVID-19 cases to schools. It’s an honor system for the highly contagious disease that nursing staff across the state are urging people to take seriously.

“Do have some people who won’t tell you," said Phillips, "I don’t know why because we do need the data because we need to know what our cases are and if you’re at school you’re making everyone else sick.”

Midfield City Schools is still virtual, so the COVID-19 reports they send only include teacher data.

District are also required to send in detailed COVID-19 health reports to the Alabama Department of Public Health, which includes a detailed description of things like possible cases and COVID exposures. The state then works to verify cases reported.

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