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Former Florida Data Official Rebekah Jones Creates COVID Dashboard That Shows More Cases Than State Reports

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/CNN) - The woman who helped create Florida's COVID-19 dashboard, and who was fired after a dispute with state officials, has launched her own dashboard.

Rebekah Jones was removed from the state's scrutinized dashboard project after she questioned other officials' commitment to accessibility and transparency, according to Florida Today.

Jones accused her supervisors of trying to hide information on the department's dashboard to paint a rosier picture.

Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis contested Jones' claims. The Florida Department of Health (DOH) said she had "exhibited a repeated course of insubordination" during her tenure there.

Jones's website "is paid for entirely by donations," the fundraising portion of the site says.

"Florida deserves a community-based dashboard that doesn't hide or fudge numbers," according to the page.

Jones' dashboard looks very similar to DOH website.

However, Jones parallels her data alongside DOH's coronavirus numbers, which are much lower, according to the website.

"DOH publishes total cases, not positive people," the website says. "Additionally, cases are not currently created for those who receive positive antibody test results, and so DOH excludes them from that total. We show the total number of people who have definitive lab results showing they have or have had COVID-19 regardless of the type of test."

The new dashboard also shows report cards on where each county stands on reopening.

The community dashboard reported 83,270 positive cases with 3,022 deaths since March 1 while the state dashboard reported 75,568 total positives and 2,931 deaths as of Monday morning. Both dashboards include data for residents and non-residents of Florida.

(©2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)

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