Schools COVID-19 Dashboard & Guidance

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 NEWS for 9/16/21:

  • Maricopa County is in High Transmission  Case rates for Maricopa County for the most current calendar week of data (9/5-9/11) are 266/100,000. Test positivity is 13%. These figures are updated weekly on our main COVID-19 data dashboard page.
  • K-12 COVID-19 School Guidance Updated K-12 COVID-19 Prevention & Mitigation guidance and resources for BinaxNOW antigen testing kits are available on our K-12 main page.
  • Share This Resource! Our vaccine locator page lists free community events for COVID-19 vaccine, including many school sites open to the community! Share this page with your staff, students, and families to encourage vaccination for 12+! You also can use the map to search for scheduling availability for vaccine appts at your neighborhood CVS or Walgreen's.



THE DASHBOARD


Utilizing the map below, community transmission levels based on CDC-aligned indicators can be viewed by ZIP Code, City, Unified School District, High School District or Elementary District by selecting from the “View report by” drop-down menu. By clicking on your selected area on the map, a pop-up report will generate a value for that area's COVID-19 community transmission level and a link to review the recommended K–12 learning modes. Learn more about using the dashboard.

Note: Individual schools (public, private, or charter) are viewable on the map, but are not a report category. This is because the community transmission level for schools is best evaluated in the context of the communities in which they are located.

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This dashboard is updated weekly on Thursdays around 9 a.m.
Dashboard last updated: Sept. 16, 2021
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Report Footnotes


Most recent data for case rates and percent positivity are calculated using area-selected data from 9/4/21-9/10/21.

2 Prior week's data (for reference only — does not impact current community transmission level) for case rates and PCR test percent positivity are calculated using area-selected data from 8/28/21-9/3/21.


Additional notes:

  • Geographic regions with smaller populations will have case rates that vary more widely due to the small population denominator.
  • The metrics for areas that cross county lines only include case, test, and population data for Maricopa County residents. These data are representative of the case rate and percent positivity for the portion of the area that is in Maricopa County and are not representative of the case rate and percent positivity for the entire geographic area.

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USING THE DASHBOARD

The CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools (rev. July 2021) emphasizes the importance of in-person learning and focuses on strategies to keep students safely in schools. Vaccination is recognized as the leading public health prevention strategy to prevent transmission of COVID-19. CDC also emphasized the consistent implementation of layered prevention strategies to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in schools.

This dashboard can be used as a guide to help decision-makers better understand the COVID-19 community transmission level around their school or district.

The indicators used to determine community transmission levels align with CDC’s recommendations in the Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools.

Community transmission levels help us understand what is occurring in a community, however a school’s mitigation plan for preventing the spread of COVID-19 among students, staff, and teachers, and the implementation of this plan, are the most important factors for a school to safely offer in-person learning. 

In addition to monitoring community transmission levels, schools should monitor community vaccination coverage rates, as well as occurrence of outbreaks at schools.

Schools should contact Public Health in the event of a school-related outbreak and for further guidance on planning and implementing a mitigation strategy.

NOTE – CDC no longer suggests selecting learning modes based on community transmission rates.

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About the Data

To ensure completeness and accuracy of data, case rates and PCR test percent positivity are calculated using area-selected data covering the one-week period ending 5 days prior to day of the dashboard update. Data posted on Thursdays will be reflective of the last full MMWR week (Sunday–Saturday), which is the most recent available data.

Calendar of Dashboard Updates

The dashboard is updated weekly on Thursdays around 9AM. View the table of dashboard updates and corresponding 2-week data calendar ranges.

Find Historical Data for Your Area 

You can view historical community transmission level data by area (city, zip, school district) for case rates and percent positivity dating back to week 5/31-6/6 here.

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COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION INDICATORS

Each week, the dashboard will show COVID-19 community transmission levels based on indicators calculated using one week of data. A second week of data is provided for historical reference only. Indicators used to calculate community transmission levels, case rate and percent positivity, are based on the CDC's recommendations in the Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools. If the two indicators suggest different transmission levels, the higher level is selected. 

Transmission Levels-20210815 Opens in new window

Defining the Indicators

Case rate

This is the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 per 100,000 people in the area selected over the week for which the data is being reported. MCDPH recommends using case rates to evaluate spread of disease in your area because a case rate will more accurately reflect what is happening in your community by accounting for population size.

Percent positivity

This is the percentage of PCR diagnostic tests confirmed positive out of all PCR tests performed in the area selected over the week for which the data is being reported. A higher PCR percent positivity can indicate that there is more disease spreading within the community, or it can mean that there is not enough available testing in the area. 

Recommendations for Safely Providing In-Person Instruction

MCDPH recommends decision-makers view their area data weekly to stay updated on their community transmission levels. Community transmission levels help us understand what is occurring in a community; however, a school’s mitigation plan for how it will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among students, staff, and teachers, and the implementation of this plan, are the most important factors in determining a school’s ability to safely offer in-person learning in higher levels of community transmission. CDC recommends a layered prevention plan, particularly during substantial and high levels of community transmission.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Community transmission indicators inform the level of intensity of prevention measures used to control the spread of COVID-19 in schools. The risk of transmission in schools reflects the community transmission levels.

Prevention measures include:

  • Promoting COVID vaccination in eligible students and staff
  • Voluntary mask use
  • Physical distancing of at least 3 feet (to the greatest extent possible)
  • Case investigation/contact tracing in partnership with MCDPH


CDC offers a summary of the latest data related to Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in K-12 schools. The summary also includes a list of all data referenced for those looking to read the primary source.



PCR percent positivity is the percentage of people who test positive for COVID-19 (by a PCR test) out of all people in the community who have been tested with a PCR test during the same time period. For the purposes of the school dashboard, a “community” is defined by the selected area (ZIP code, city or school district) being viewed on the map. Two separate weeks of data for that area are provided to help provide a directional trend of a community’s overall transmission level.

  • A decreasing percentage of positive tests indicates enough testing is available in the community and that that transmission of the virus is slowing in that area.
  • An increasing percent positivity suggests higher transmission of disease is occurring in the community or that there is less testing available in that area and people with symptoms are more likely to be tested.
  • If people with symptoms are more likely to be tested, there are likely more people with COVID-19 in the community who haven’t been tested. This may mean more cases are going undetected, including those who don’t have symptoms and may be spreading the virus without knowing they’re infected.


If the area selected has a PCR percent positivity noted as “N/A” in a gray box, this means there were fewer than 10 total PCR tests done in that area during the specified week. In these cases, which might change from week to week, the PCR percent positivity metric will not be used in determining the overall community transmission level of COVID-19 in that area.



Historic data for community transmission indicators (case rate and percent positivity) are not affected by the update to align with CDC’s indicators and community transmission levels.

You can view historic community transmission data by area (city, zip, school district) for case rates and percent positivity dating back to the week beginning 5/31/20 here. Countywide historical COVID-like illness (CLI) percentage of hospital visits can be found here.


For additional school-related FAQs, click here.

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Planning and Guidance Resources

Additional K-12 school guidance for prevention and mitigation of COVID-19 and reporting outbreaks can be found here.

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Contact Us

Still have questions?

Send us a message.

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