5th Bloomington city employee confirmed positive for COVID-19 since start of pandemic

There’s been a recent surge of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Monroe County over the last few days.

One of them was a city of Bloomington utilities (CBU) employee, according to a press release issued on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the press release, the CBU employee “rarely interacts with members of the public in the course of their work.” The press release says that members of the public were not placed at risk of exposure by the employee who tested positive.

The positive test result was received Monday, July 13, but the employee first experienced symptoms on July 7, and self-isolated at that time, according to the release The CBU employee has been placed on paid leave to recover, according to the release.

That makes the fifth city employee who has had a confirmed positive test since the county’s first confirmed COVID-19 case on March 21. It brings the countywide total to 375 cases according to the Indiana state department of health’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Of the four city employees who earlier tested positive, three were fire fighters and the other was a parks and recreation employee.

Countywide, the trend of increased numbers of confirmed cases and increased numbers of tests continues. The 15 confirmed cases reported for Monday put the rolling 7-day average of confirmed positives at around 10 cases per day.

Not all of the increase in confirmed positive cases is due to the increased number of tests. The confirmed positive rate—7-day average of positives divided by the 7-day after of tests—has settled around 5 percent for the last few days, after increasing over the last three weeks to that level, from between 1 and 2 percent.

In Monroe County, the count of deaths due to COVID-19 has remained at 28 since June 21. Hospitalizations also appear to be stable. The last ICU admission in the county was on July 6 and the one before that came on June 8.  The count of non-ICU admissions has been 5 over the last three days.

The picture in Monroe County is similar to what statewide numbers are showing. The number of cases is increasing and the positive test rate is increasing, but deaths are not showing a corresponding increase. The statewide hospital census is, however, starting to nudge upward.