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Report: Manager of Florida's COVID-19 dashboard removed, raising questions about transparency

The database is relied on by thousands of Floridians to display accurate county-by-county COVID-19 testing data and provide a baseline for tracking the curve.

The creator and manager of Florida's COVID-19 dashboard has been removed from her position, reports Florida Today, with other reports hinting that her removal was related to censorship of data. 

Rebekah Jones was reportedly removed from her position with the Florida Department of Health on May 5, with her primary role being and creating and managing Florida's COVID-19 dashboard.

The database is relied on by thousands of Floridians to display accurate county-by-county COVID-19 testing data and provide a baseline for tracking the curve statewide and even by zipcode.

RELATED: How to track Florida coronavirus cases by ZIP code

In an email obtained by Florida Today, Jones said her removal was largely due to issues of transparency.

"As a word of caution, I would not expect the new team to continue the same level of accessibility and transparency that I made central to the process during the first two months," she wrote. "After all, my commitment to both is largely (arguably entirely) the reason I am no longer managing it."

The dashboard, which weeks ago would be updated twice daily, has noticeably fallen behind on data updates in recent weeks.

At the end of April, the FDOH would provide a data update before noon and one in the evening. Now on some days, the website takes a full 24-hours before numbers are refreshed. 

It's unclear who is now responsible for managing the website.

First Coast News has reached out to Jones and the Florida Department of Health to inquire about the official reason for her departure from FDOH, obtain a copy of the email obtained by Florida Today and also ask about who is currently managing Florida's COVID-19 dashboard.

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