At Wednesday’s regular meeting of Monroe County commissioners, county health administrator Penny Caudill briefed the three electeds on the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Positive cases continue to trend upward in Monroe County, in the state, and across the country, she reported.
But Monday’s full approval of Pfizer’s vaccine by the US Food and Drug Administration could mean that one concern people have cited about getting vaccinated will be relieved, Caudill said. That concern relates to the fact that the vaccine had up to now been administered only under an emergency use provision.
Pfizer’s vaccine is now branded as Comirnaty.
Monroe County’s fraction of those age 12 and over who have been vaccinated is still just 58.3 percent
Caudill pointed to Indiana’s vaccine website as a resource for finding a place to get vaccinated.
Caudill indicated that even though the trend for positive cases for Monroe County is increasing, she believes the numbers would be even higher, if the county board of commissioners and the health commissioners had not acted to put an indoor mask mandate in place.
The demand for testing is again high, Caudill said, and steps are being taken to re-open the community testing site on Morton Street. She hopes it will be open by Sept. 1.
On Wednesday, Indiana recorded 5,037 positive cases. Case numbers have not topped 5,000 in a day for the whole state since January.
In Monroe County, the trend is not as sharply upward as in the rest of Indiana, but it’s still a steep climb. Wednesday’s 60 cases was the highest number since Feb. 3. The rolling average of 33 positive cases means the number of daily cases has shown a six-fold increase since the end of June.
According to Indiana’s dashboard for COVID-19 infections, 97.6% of those positive cases that have been genetically sequenced show they were caused by the Delta variant of the virus.
On Aug. 21, Monroe County recorded an additional death due to COVID-19, bringing the total number of pandemic-related deaths in the county to 184.