Noon Edition airs on Fridays at noon on WFIU.
Indiana hit a new low this week in COVID rates across the state, with 86 out of 92 counties making it into the “blue” rating on the state’s map.
Since May, Monroe County has been in a blue advisory level but, recently, slight upticks in case rates have been recorded.
More than 55 percent of Monroe County’s eligible population have been vaccinated for COVID-19, as of Wednesday.
As vaccination levels have increased in the community, health officials are planning to scale back testing. The OptumServe testing site on Walnut Street, open for a year, closed in June. Local health officials report that the Morton Street COVID-19 community testing site will close at the end of July. The site has been a partnership with IU, IU Health, the Monroe County Health Department, and City of Bloomington.
As of Wednesday, fewer than 200 cases of the Delta variant had been reported statewide. Not every COVID sample is tested for the variant, so its prevalence is not completely known.
The Delta variant is highly contagious, and one study suggests that it accounts for 40 percent of new U.S. cases.
Gov. Eric Holcomb has extended Indiana’s emergency health order through the end of July, though nearly all COVID restrictions are lifted. He expressed concern Thursday that Indiana ranks 38th in the country for COVID vaccination rates, with 48 percent of eligible Hoosiers having received a dose. Nearly 99 percent of new COVID infections come from unvaccinated people.
This week, we’ll talk with health experts about where Indiana stands in fighting the spread of COVID-19, and strategies moving forward to keep cases low locally.
You can follow us on Twitter @NoonEdition or join us on the air by calling in at 812-855-0811 or toll-free at 1-877-285-9348. You can also send us questions for the show at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This week of our guests and hosts will participate remotely to avoid risk of spreading infection.
Penny Caudill, Monroe County Health Administrator
Dr. Tom Hrisomalos, IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians provider, specializing in infectious disease
Shandy Dearth, director of undergraduate epidemiology education at the Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI