Sunday’s 14 positive COVID-19 cases for Monroe County contributed to a rolling 7-day average of 19.7 cases.
That’s good news, in terms of the state’s metrics for community disease spread. But it still leaves the county at about twice the number of daily cases needed for an automatic lifting of the indoor mask mandate.
The county’s board of health voted to extend the mask mandate at its meeting last week. The lifting of the mandate is not tied to a date, but to a specific benchmark. That benchmark corresponds to a rolling 7-day average of 10.6 cases a day, which is about half the current number.
County commissioners are set to vote on the extension of the mask mandate at their regular Wednesday morning meeting.
The rolling 7-day average through Sunday is just under 21.2, which is the number that corresponds to 100 weekly cases per 100,000 residents.
The 100 cases per 100,000 residents is a key benchmark for the state of Indiana’s health department. Coming in below that benchmark puts Monroe County in the second-best category for the state’s cases-per-capita statistic.
For the other statistic used by the state, which is positivity rate, Monroe County is in the best category, at 4.3 percent.
The scoring of the two categories goes from 0 for the best to 3 for the worst. So the average of Monroe County’s scores in the two categories—a 1 for per capita cases and a 0 for positivity—works out to 0.5.
A 0.5 average means that on Wednesday, when the state announces the new classifications and releases a new map, Monroe County will shaded blue. The blue shading designates the best category in the state’s four-color scheme. From best to worst the scheme goes: blue, yellow, orange, and red.
But under the state’s scheme, only when a county achieves a score of 0.5 or lower for two weeks in a row, is it officially in the blue category.
Under the health regulation’s terms, to see an automatic lifting of the mask mandate, Monroe County will need to stay in blue and get its case numbers down to 50 per week per 100,000. That per capita stat works out to a rolling average of 10.6 a day.
Eyeballing the current rate of decrease, it could be overly optimistic to think that average daily case numbers would drop from around 20 to 10 over the next week.