The Virginia COVID-19 response command includes a Health Equity Work Group charged with “prioritizing resources and decision points impacting marginalized and at-risk individuals and communities.” The workgroup overlayed geospatial and race and ethnicity data to establish testing areas in communities, which later allowed the public health department to target the distribution of masks and hand sanitizer in communities that are typically underserved by government programs.
In 2020, Virginia utilized its existing Framework for Addiction Analysis and Community Transformation (FAACT) to share new data and provide actionable information as part of the state’s COVID-19 response. FAACT – a cross-agency, cloud-based, data-sharing and analytics platform – was previously used as part of the state’s work on the opioid crisis to generate actionable insights about the contributing factors to opioid abuse, as well as to collate the most effective community responses. According to the Beeck Center, since the launch of FAACT in 2017, Virginia has seen a decrease in the number of drug overdose deaths involving opioids.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia’s workforce system launched an improved integrated data system in 2020, governed by a data trust, that improves user experience through the new Virginia Career Works Referral Portal. The related Virginia Career Works Dashboard is a data visualization tool that conveys information about labor conditions and allows agencies to make real-time, data-driven decisions. These innovative systems demonstrated a potential cost savings of more than 94% over traditional approaches.