In Monroe County, the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases, and hospitalized patients are still high.
That news was buffered a bit on Friday by an announcement from county health administrator Penny Caudill about a local testing center. It was hoped to launch at the beginning of the month, and it’s finally set to open next Tuesday (Sept. 21).
Initial hours at the 500 N. Profile Parkway test site will run initially Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Results from the drive-through PCR tests are supposed to be available by 5 p.m. the following day, according to Caudill.
The 69 positive tests reported for Monroe County with the state dashboard’s Friday’s noon update were the biggest number in about eight months, when 77 cases were recorded on Jan. 20.
On Thursday, the city of Bloomington reported six COVID-19 cases among its employees for the week. That is the highest weekly total of city worker cases since mid-December of 2020, when eight employees tested positive for the pandemic virus between Dec. 8 and Dec. 12.
At Friday’s weekly news conference of local leaders on pandemic response, IU Health’s program director for community relations, Shawna Girgis said that the health provider continues to see high numbers of COVID-19 inpatients.
The chart shown by Girgis confirmed the continuing high numbers. But they look like they have settled in at a high level, much like the positive case numbers have.
Monroe County’s positive case graph shows a slight decrease in the rolling average from the end of August, when the county was logging around 46 cases a day through the first week of September when the number dipped to around 40. Over the last week, the number of cases has increased again by about the same amount, to where the average now sits, at around 47 cases.
On Friday, Monroe County health administrator Penny Caudill said in response to a reporter’s question, that based on contact tracing reports, the increase in the number of cases over the last week did not seem to be due to last week’s home football game played by Indiana University.
Caudill said Monroe County’s pattern over the last two week was similar to the statewide picture.
Labor Day activities and a lack of testing over the holiday weekend could mean some of the tests may have been kind of scattered a bit over time, Caudill said.
In any case, Caudill said, the consensus is that outdoor activities, like attendance at football games, are safer than indoor activities.