Virginia Chief Data Officer Carlos Rivero said during the event that recent expansion of the state’s opioid overdose data-sharing tool, called the Framework for Addiction Analysis and Community Transformation, or FAACT, allowed the state to collaborate with community organizations to slow the spread of COVID-19. Virginia has been collecting data on the opioid crisis since 2018 through FAACT, a cloud-based data sharing tool initially used by local police departments and hospitals to observe patterns or trends in overdoses before they happened, saving lives in the process.
In June, just two months after the coronavirus pandemic began its spread through the U.S., Rivero and Gov. Ralph Northam announced the tool would be expanded to include cases of COVID-19, allowing state agencies and local health care organizations to monitor whether case trends, as well as how much equipment — hospital beds, ventilators and more — are necessary in particular communities. The process has helped the state’s district health directors make more accurate decisions on where to send testing equipment, Rivero said.
“As we were engaging with our health district directors,” Rivero said, “we wanted to put the data in the health district director’s hands to understand where testing is being conducted and if those tests are adequate for the population that they have.”