The Audrain County Health Department is shifting the way it reports COVID-19 in the Audrain County community.
With the shift announced by the CDC earlier this week to an endemic mode of tracking, the Audrain County Health Department will now rely on the CDC for a weekly report of the transmission rate in the county.
The health department will still release a weekly report on COVID-19 in Audrain County, however instead of case numbers, positivity rates and daily cases per 100,000, the report will show the Community Level in Audrain County of either low, moderate or high.
Release From Audrain County Health Department:
ACHD Shifts To CDC Endemic Reporting Model
The Audrain County Health Department (ACHD) is shifting the way it reports COVID-19 in the Audrain County community. Since May of 2020 when COVID-19 first appeared in Audrain County, the ACHD has used case counts, seven-day average positivity rates and seven-day average Cases Per 100,000 Per Day to track COVID-19 in Audrain County.
With the shift announced by the CDC earlier this week to an endemic mode of tracking, the ACHD will now rely on the CDC for a weekly report of the transmission rate in the county.
“The move by the CDC was made after it became apparent the public’s immunity to COVID-19 is at the stage where the risk of suffering severe outcomes from the disease are less and less,” ACHD Administrator and CEO Craig Brace said. “We’ve seen a growth in the amount of booster shots available in the county and, in the unvaccinated, we’ve seen high rates of infection-induced protection.”
Another reason for the shift in the way COVID-19 is tracked is the amount of tools and more relevant metrics that are available to the healthcare field that were not available two years ago when COVID-19 first appeared.
“Our breadth of tools available now allows us the ability to much better identify and follow an outbreak of the disease in different settings,” Brace said. “We now have broad access to vaccines, testing and therapeutics that we didn’t have a year ago even that we can use to help stem the tide of large outbreaks like we saw in the past.”
With the shift to an endemic phase instead of a pandemic phase, the hope from the CDC is this will help ease the burden on the healthcare system while protecting the most vulnerable populations through vaccines, therapeutics and prevention measures.
“We’re still going to promote vaccinations and boosters. COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon, just like the flu isn’t. It’s becoming something we’re going to have to learn to live with on a day-to-day basis.”
Going forward, the ACHD will still be issuing a weekly report on COVID-19 in Audrain County. Instead of case numbers, positivity rates and daily cases per 100,000, the report issued will show the Community Level in Audrain County. The Community Level will have three levels to it: Low, Moderate and High.
Low Level means that you need to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if you have symptoms. Medium level means if you are at high risk of severe illness, have a conversation with
your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions while also keeping up to date with vaccines and getting tested if you develop symptoms. A high level means to wear a mask indoors, stay up-to-date with vaccines, get tested if symptomatic and take additional precautions if you are high risk.
“If you have any questions, you can call the health department at 573-581-1332,” Brace said. “Or, you can get more information on the transition at myachd.org under the COVID Updates tab on our web site or visit CDC.gov.”
The new reporting system will take effect this Friday, March 11th, 2022.