[Updated: MoCo, Bloomington closed Friday] Don’t travel: Monroe County warning in effect as of 4:50 a.m. Feb. 3, 2022

Monroe County is under a travel warning as of 4:50 a.m. Thursday morning. Travel is restricted to emergency management workers.

The image links to the state’s travel advisory map page.

That means you should not be out on the roads unless you are an emergency management worker.

If you are in a dire circumstance (but not a 911 emergency) that makes you believe you need to travel, Monroe County’s emergency management office advises contacting the Indiana State Police or the Monroe County sheriff’s office (812-349-2780).

The National Weather Service has a winter storm warning in place through 1 a.m. on Friday.

[Added at 3 p.m. on Feb. 3, 2022. This just in from from the Monroe County emergency management text alert system: “Due to severe weather and extremely cold temperatures, Monroe County offices will be closed tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. This includes the courts and prosecutor’s offices. The “red” level travel warning status will remain in effect through the day tomorrow, Feb 4, 2022 until reassessed. This means individuals are directed to refrain from travel as it is unsafe to drive in.”]

[Added 7:04 p.m. on Feb. 3, 2022. City of Bloomington offices will be closed on Friday, Feb. 4, according to the mayor’s office. ]

The total daytime snow accumulation could be from  3 to 7 inches. The NWS forecast for the Bloomington area  calls for patchy blowing snow after 1 p.m. with temperatures falling from the current 27 F degrees to around 23 F.

Winds will be out of the north and northeast blowing around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph. Chance of precipitation through the day is 100 percent, according to the forecast.

As of around 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, the temperature was holding at 27 F degrees with sleet falling out of the sky. An accumulation of slushy snow mix was a half inch or more, depending on the location. Continue reading “[Updated: MoCo, Bloomington closed Friday] Don’t travel: Monroe County warning in effect as of 4:50 a.m. Feb. 3, 2022”

Monroe County turns map blue for COVID cases, but still in yellow advisory

At their regular Wednesday meeting, Monroe County commissioners heard a bit of good news related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

County health administrator Penny Caudill told them the 92 confirmed positive cases for the week ending on Sunday were low enough to put Monroe County in the blue category for the state’s dual-metric classification scheme.

That’s the first time in a couple of months that the county has been blue. Blue designates the best category, which is “low community spread.”

The other metric, besides the number of confirmed cases per 100,000, is positivity rate. Monroe County has consistently scored in the best category for the positivity metric, due in part to the massive amount of mitigation testing that Indiana University has undertaken.

Mitigation testing, of randomly selected people, by its nature will show a lower positivity rate than testing of those who decide they want a test for some reason.

Based on the number of positive cases, Monroe County is still in the next-best category, but when averaged with the score for positivity rate, the county comes out blue.

Caudill also cautioned the commissioners that under the dual-metric color-coded advisory scheme, the county needs to maintain its blue status for two weeks in a row in order to be considered out from under the cautions associated with the yellow rating. Continue reading “Monroe County turns map blue for COVID cases, but still in yellow advisory”