Teachers' union says Volusia County COVID-19 dashboard inaccurate

The president of the Volusia County teachers union says the school district COVID-19 dashboard is inaccurate and the district needs to do better.

The family of a teacher’s aide from Horizon Elementary mourns her loss, after catching COVID. As more students return to school on Monday, it’s scary for other teachers.

"We had another paraprofessional earlier in the year pass away from COVID. And it's something that is just heartbreaking. We’ll never recover from the loss of those two educational professionals," said Volusia United Educators President Elizabeth Albert.

To make matters worse, Albert believes there is not enough information regarding COVID cases in school. According to the Florida Department of Health dashboard, in Volusia County schools, there were 84 cases of COVD from September 6 to October 31, but Albert feels the district needs to do better.

"You don’t have to say who has it, but let's be open and honest about what’s going on. We should be doing a better job being truthful about what’s going on at our schools."

On September 2, the Volusia County School District started its own dashboard to keep tabs on COVID-19 numbers.

"We do not believe the dashboard is accurate. We know that there’s often information we get directly from our members that’s not included on the dashboard."

Currently, the dashboard is updated on Wednesday and Friday, but Albert believes it should be every day and says it’s missing information.

"The dashboard does not identify the numbers of quarantine.  So I think when you’re putting out information, you have to put out complete and total information so the full picture is provided."

A Volusia School District spokesperson said they’re working with their attorney so they can provide information, yet still follow the HIPAA law and have student confidentiality. Albert said it’s about protecting students and teachers from COVID.

"We need to be aware of where hotspots are if you will. Taxpayers fund our schools and they have the right to know."
Albert says more teachers are leaving the district because of the lack of COVID-19 information in schools.