NASHVILLE, Tenn — On Tuesday, the Tennessee Department of Education relaunched its COVID-19 dashboard. For some districts, it's the first glimpse of how many cases are in the classroom this school year.
In Shelby County Schools, the TDOE dashboard shows 490 new student cases and 89 new staff cases reported in the district last week.
"More data is better for parents," said Knox County parent of three Heather Morgan. "It helps our family and other families gauge the risk of sending our kids to school every day."
Still, she has concerns about the dashboard's accuracy.
In Knox County, the TDOE dashboard shows 300 new student cases reported in the district last week.
Tennessee Department of Health data shows 1,012 children ages 5 to 18 in tested positive in Knox County last week.
"The numbers they put up for active COVID cases is grossly understated," Morgan said. "We need to see new cases by the positive test date."
Other districts show discrepancies between cases reported to the school district and cases reported to TDH among school-aged children as well.
In Claiborne County, the district reported 11 cases among students last week.
TDH reported 74 new cases among kids 5 to 18 in Claiborne County last week.
In a statement on its website, TDOE said it "cannot verify and makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the data presented" because it is self-reported by schools on a weekly basis.
Heather Morgan hopes that will change.
"Maybe the state can apply pressure to compel Knox County and other districts to provide additional information more granular and more complete information so families like ours can make better decisions," she said. "We need the daily teacher and student absence information. We need that data by school."