We have been getting a number of questions today around what the four positive results that came in yesterday mean, particularly for businesses who are concerned about another shutdown. While we expect to continue to see positive tests come in, the virus is still in our community and we must remain vigilant in keeping the spread from reaching an exponential phase. Our best method of limiting the spread is to adhere to social distancing, masking, personal hygiene, and staying home if we are sick. Based on the first wave of the pandemic, we developed indicator guidelines that will determine what causes us to move from one level to the next in the coronameter. For a breakdown of what each coronameter level means, please see this infographic.
We are continually monitoring the data and while new positives tests are a concern, we are not currently seeing a level that would cause us to move to higher restrictions. In order to get out of the blue and into a yellow level, we would have to meet the criteria outlined in our indicator guidelines. In order to move from blue into yellow, three of the below criteria would have to be met. Currently, we have not hit any of these indicators.
- 3 or more symptomatic individuals testing positive per day for any 3 days in a 7 day period.
- Testing threshold is not being met or more than 9 individuals self-reporting as symptomatic in a single day.
- No more than 60% of the 24-licensed beds filled at GVH with patients having COVID-19 illness.
- Regional transfer centers are seeing a surge in patients with COVID-19 (>=50% full with COVID-19 cases), but still able to
accept transfers from GVH.
- GVH employees out with respiratory illness is more than 15%.
- PPE supply is more than 28 days but restock sources may have moved to allocation supply chains.
- Once we have entered the Yellow Stage we will fall back to Blue 7 days after criteria for Blue are met.
We have also heard a number of questions around why we are only looking at symptomatic positive tests in our indicator guidelines. As stated above, the guidelines were developed based on our first wave. During the first wave, we did not have testing capabilities to test anyone that was not symptomatic. If we had more robust testing at the time, we likely would have seen many more positive results. The number of symptomatic positives can be correlated to a level of hospital impact based on our first wave. If we were to count asymptomatic tests in our policy regarding a second wave, it could skew us to overreact and close down too early.
Even though we are not at a point where we are looking to reenact restrictions, we cannot forget that the virus is still amongst us. If we get too lax with public health measures, we will quickly move into an exponential phase of spread and be forced to lock back down. It is up to us as a community to adhere to the 5 commitments to containment.