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October 23, 2021

New dashboard details school-based Covid-19 testing results

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—The Santa Cruz County Office of Education (COE) has launched a dashboard that summarizes Covid-19 testing results across schools countywide.

The dashboard is a partnership with school districts, Inspire Diagnostics and the Santa Cruz County Department of Public Health, COE spokesman Nick Ibarra said.

The dashboard, accessible at santacruzcoe.org/coviddashboards, provides a snapshot of the status of Covid-19 testing in Santa Cruz County schools to date, Ibarra stated in a press release.

It includes data collected from all conventional public schools in the county, as well as many charter and private schools.

The majority of the data is gathered through Inspire Diagnostics, which performs weekly testing on site at most Santa Cruz County schools and operates three school community testing sites. The webpage also includes links to individual testing dashboards maintained by each school district.

“Releasing this data marks an important step toward increasing understanding, coordination, and transparency around the status of Covid-19 cases and mitigation in Santa Cruz County schools,” Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Faris Sabbah said in a press release. “Despite the challenges of starting a school year during a case surge, I am pleased to report that this data suggests our mitigation efforts have largely proven effective. That’s a credit to the hard work and dedication of our entire community.”

According to Sabbah, 18,656 tests were administered to students and staff countywide between Aug. 29 and Sept. 28. Of these, 102 returned positive results. This represents a positivity rate of 0.6%, compared to the countywide rate for that same period of 1.4-3.9%.

“Continuity of in-person learning is foundationally important to the healthy development of our students,” Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel said in the press release. “As this data shows, Covid-19 positivity rates seen in our schools have remained lower than the wider community and state—once again underscoring the benefits of vaccination and proven mitigation measures.”

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