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Designer of State’s Coronavirus Dashboard Creates New Database

Rebekah Jones, the woman who created Florida’s popular COVID-19 dashboard, has created a new one of her own.

The Florida COVID Community Action website uses a “community-mapping approach,” in which the data is scaled to the local level. Members of the community can submit data instantly online, according to Jones.

She says her new website shows the most up-to-date statistics along with “other data Florida leaders have previously tried to hide or restrict from public view.”

People can search for the latest data in their counties, in addition to testing locations and hours, community events to help those struggling during the pandemic, and submit information about resources in their communities.

A statement on the website rads:

We count everyone who has had a confirmed-positive COVID-19 lab result, including antibody testing. Any cumulative count of positive people in Florida should include any person who has a confirmed-positive lab result, whether tested while symptomatic or not. This helps us better track the disease burden on healthcare systems and its spread in the community.

We show the number of positive people, hospitalizations, and deaths for everyone tested in Florida, regardless of their legal address. DOH excludes non-residents from its demographic data, zip code data, death data, and case data over time.

We apply the CDC’s guidance on counting “recovered” cases to show by-county estimates of the number of recovered people. This calculation includes all cases diagnosed more than six weeks ago where no death, hospitalization or ER admission is on file.

Jones was fired from the Florida Department of Health last month, for what she says was her refusal to censor data in order to support the state’s reopening plan.

Gov. Ron DeSantis later said in a news conference that she had been terminated for insubordination, and for adding data on the website against the judgment of state doctors.

The governor added that she is facing open criminal charges for sexual cyber-harassment and cyber stalking.

In an interview with CNN, Jones said that she disagreed with state officials over COVID-19 data in rural counties, explaining that some information showed several rural counties did not meet the criteria to reopen. She claims her supervisors changed the criteria for reopening rural counties soon thereafter.

“If refusing to mislead the public during a health crisis is insubordination, then I will wear that badge with honor,” Jones said.