MCCSC confirms code yellow for Tuesday in-person instruction

Shortly after noon, Monroe County Community School Corporation used its alert system and Facebook page to confirm that its in-person re-opening plan is on course: Tuesday will start the “code yellow” phase of instruction.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, MCCSC has been operating so far this fall under code red, as defined by the district’s green-yellow-red color scheme. Red means all grade levels get online-only instruction. Green means all grade levels get in-person instruction, with an online option.

Monday’s announcement of code yellow instruction means that elementary school students are offered in-person instruction every day of the week. Secondary school students are offered instruction in-person and online based on alternating days of the week and groupings based on their last names.

The MCCSC metric committee has two dozen members, which include teachers, health officials, and MCCSC family members, among others. The committee was scheduled to meet Monday, Sept. 7, to review the data from the Indiana State Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard. That review came ahead of an already planned code yellow re-opening on Tuesday.

Based on the number recorded on the committee’s report from Sept. 7, the rolling average positivity rate used by the committee in its determination was 7.4 percent. That was the state dashboard’s figure reported for Monroe County a day earlier, on Sept. 6, for data collected through Sept. 5.

On Monday, the state’s dashboard missed its typically punctual update at noon by at least a half hour. The fresher number for the positivity rate was 8.9 percent, which was reported on the dashboard later in the day on Sept. 7, for data collected through Sept. 6.

The 8.9-percent figure is still under the 10-percent threshold that defines code red instruction. Less than 5 percent qualifies as code green.

The state’s dashboard reports two types of positivity rate—one for all tests, and the other for unique individuals. The math works out to make the unique individual positivity rate higher than the all-test rate. The rate for all individuals is based on just the tests. The same person, if tested 10 times with one positive result, would get analyzed at a 10-percent positivity rate. But under the unique-individual rate, that would work out  to 100 percent.

MCCSC is using the all-test positivity rate for its metrics.

The state’s dashboard classifies the most recent six days in its calculations as “preliminary” and overlays them in gray.

Positivity is one of a few other metrics that the district is using to guide the way instruction is offered this fall. Others include trends for positive cases each day, which the metric committee considered on Monday to indicate code red—those trends are upward.

On Monday, two other metrics—test turnaround and speed of contact tracing—were considered by the committee to indicate code green.