Of the Monroe County residents eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, 24.5% of them have been fully vaccinated, Monroe County Health Administrator Penny Caudill said in a city press conference Friday.
Caudill said the goal is to have 75% of the Indiana population vaccinated as soon as possible. 1.5 million Hoosiers are considered fully vaccinated, Caudill said.
“When we look at that herd immunity, we're going to need at least 75 to 80% of our population vaccinated,” Caudill said.
Monroe County extended its mask mandate until May 28. Gov. Eric Holcomb’s statewide mandate ended April 6.
“We do need to remind some of our neighbors who may be visiting here in Monroe County that we still mask up,” City of Bloomington Public Engagement Director Mary Catherine Carmichael said.
Even if the county were to hit a vaccination rate of 75%, Caudill said there are other factors such as positivity rates and hospitalization rates that will also be used to make a decision about whether or not the mask mandate would stay in effect.
“There is no one number or metric that will make us change those,” Caudill said.
The Friday conference was only hours after IU announced that Pamela Whitten would become the university’s first female president. The university, the city and the county have been working closely during the pandemic, with IU being the site of the county’s primary vaccination site.
“We so value this close relationship with Indiana University,” Carmichael said. “Of course, in this crisis that we've been in in the last year, bringing in the hospital and the county as part of that team as well. I can't tell you how valuable that's been. None of us could have done this without the other.”
Caudill said she believes it will be a very smooth transition when Whitten becomes president on July 1.
“Our relationship is good, has been good, and I have no doubt will continue to be good,” she said. “And as the new president comes in and gets situated and settled, we will just kind of fall in line with those processes. I anticipate things will be a smooth transition.”