PORTSMOUTH, Va, (WAVY) — The Virginia Department of Health is making some changes to how it reports information to the public on its COVID-19 dashboard. The changes are intended to streamline the information that’s most helpful in tracking the coronavirus.

“We want to make sure what we’re presenting is accurate and has the right focus,” VDH Director of Informatics and Information Systems Rebecca Early told WAVY.

Many use the VDH dashboard as a tool to help them decide when it’s safe to remove their masks or socialize.

In the past, the dashboard concentrated on the number of positive cases and a community’s positivity rate, but that reporting system was created before vaccines and at-home testing.

“Testing is much more widely available and there are now the availability of at-home tests, which means that VDH does not necessarily have reports of every case in Virginia,” Early said.

Since those numbers are no longer accurate, they’re shifting the emphasis to hospitalizations, outbreaks, and more recent time frames.

On Tuesday, VDH plans to retire its community levels dashboard she said.

Instead, VDH points you to this one from the CDC. This dashboard allows you to select your state and county to see if your community COVID-19 level is low, medium or high. The determination is made using a combination of hospital admissions, staffed inpatient beds and reports of positive PCR tests.

“We will be in the process of updating our guidance documents for schools and other things in that transition from our dashboard to the CDC dashboard,” Early told WAVY.

In the meantime, VDH recommends vaccines for everyone who can get them and masks if your community level is high or you are at high personal risk.

Virginians who have not been fully vaccinated, or are eligible for booster doses, can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (877) 829-4682 to find nearby vaccination clinics.

Those seeking to find or schedule a testing appointment can visit vase.vdh.virginia.gov/testingappointment.