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Monroe County Won't Bring Back Its Mask Mandate To Combat Delta Variant

masked hoosiers

(Ethan Gill/Indiana University)

Some cities are considering new mask mandates, as cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant become more prevalent.

However, in Monroe County, health officials will keep mask wearing optional in public places.

"I think we would have to have pretty good evidence that we’re seeing a lot of it here," said Penny Caudill, county health administrator.

READ MORE: Indiana Sees Low Statewide Cases, But Reports Increase In Delta Variant

This week, fewer than 200 cases of the Delta variant have been reported in Indiana. Not every COVID-19 sample is tested for the variant, so its prevalence is not completely known.

"The answer really is that we just need people to get vaccinated, and then we don’t need that mask mandate," said Caudill.

Monroe County’s seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate is steady at 2.2 percent, with more than 55 percent of the total population fully vaccinated.

"The Delta variant is here and I’m sure it’s circulating in the county, but with over half the local population fully vaccinated, it makes it very difficult to monitor those mandates," said Caudill.

Medical experts believe the Delta variant to be highly contagious, and one study from a California-based genomics company suggests that it accounts for 40 percent of new U.S. cases.

Caudill said the health department will be looking at scientific models, as more information on variants of the virus become available.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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