A new tool from Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health officials hopes to offer simple guidance to community members and help people understand current levels of COVID-19 transmission.
Called the Smart & Safe Community Transmission Indicator, the tool uses two main metrics to determine which phase of virus transmission the community is in during a given week: 14-day moving average, and active COVID-19 case count.
The current 14-day moving average and active case count puts Douglas County in the Yellow phase, public health officials said Wednesday. This means the county is recommending behaviors such as wearing a mask in indoor public places for anyone over 2 years old, regardless of vaccination status, and opting for outdoor dining and socialization activities.
“We want to be able to give people data to make decisions that can be proactive and preventative, especially at protecting our community’s healthcare capacity and hospital system,” Dr. Thomas Marcellino, Douglas County’s health officer, said in a statement. “The most important thing anyone can do right now for themselves and our community is to get vaccinated and complete their vaccine series if they have not. The vaccines provide the best protection from serious illness, especially with the Delta variant circulating.”
The transmission indicator tool and its associated guidance will not replace any potential executive health orders, LDCPH said, and will be updated every Wednesday. The tool will replace the School Reopening Guidance used during the 2020-21 academic year.