WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — DC Health launched an online dashboard showing data for monkeypox cases and vaccinations, just days after D.C. council members penned a letter requesting the information.
DC Health said it already was working on the dashboard before hearing from council members.
Elected officials hope the transparency and open communication about the virus continues.
Right now, D.C. has 350 positive cases of monkeypox.
A lot of people still have questions about its spread and vaccine distribution..
“We want to make sure DC Health is not only giving information to the targeted communities that are at highest risk for monkeypox, but also the general public,” said At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman.
Silverman, along with seven of her colleagues sent a letter Monday to DC Health’s Interim Director Dr. Sharon Lewis asking for better communication and transparency.
“It’s a way for us to keep track of what we’re doing and make adjustments if necessary,” Silverman said.
On Wednesday, DC Health’s monkeypox dashboard went live. It shows 28% of cases are in people 30 to 34 years old. Men account for 98% of cases.
“I’m thrilled that she was so responsive and…her team was already on it. That’s great. Let me cheer them on like great job,” Silverman said.
While the dashboard includes ward-specific cases, it doesn’t show ward-specific vaccinations. Silverman wants to make sure the process is equitable, because during the initial COVID-19 vaccine distribution she heard, “in Ward 8, which is a majority black ward in our city, there were a majority white people lined up to get the vaccine and in fact, when we requested the data and analyzed it that was exactly what was going on.”
So far, there have been more than 16,000 vaccinations in the District.
Vaccinations are open to anyone who’s had multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks, sex workers and staff at businesses where sexual activity occurs, all regardless of sexual orientation.
Virginia also has a dashboard showing a total of 227 cases.
Maryland does not have data available online, but CDC data shows 335 cases.
We asked DC Health for more specifics about its vaccination plan, but had not heard back from anyone as of early Wednesday evening.