After several months of flaring COVID-19 cases in Johnson County, Public Health Director Julie Bush said that, while she remains “cautiously optimistic,” new cases have now been on the decline for three weeks in a row and that, were there to be a spike in cases after this month’s Autumn Fest and Alleyfest events, we likely would have seen the effects of it by now.

In the meantime, Bush said that the county’s incidence rate has dropped significantly over the past week.

“We had 74 cases this past week, down from 113 the week before and 160 the week before that,” Bush said. “We reported one death last week, but have already had two this week. Deaths lag behind new cases, so even as cases decline, deaths may continue to climb for a bit before they slow down. Also, incidence rate has dropped over the last week. Week before last we ended the week at 50.2 and this past week we ended the week at 30.3. Still red but going in the right direction.”

According to the Johnson County Health Department’s daily stats, as of Monday, Oct. 11, cases stand at 243 active, with eight currently hospitalized, bringing the total for the county at 4,090, with 3,785 recovered and an unfortunate 62 deaths.

Bush said that, if there were to be a spike in cases from the festivals at the beginning of the month, the county would likely be seeing the signs of that by now.

“Yes, it is good news. I am still cautiously optimistic,” Bush said. “We would have seen a spike by now if from the festival, and we haven’t seen it. My guess would be that over the course of this week cases will continue to decline. We’ve seen a decrease for 3 weeks in a row now and it may level off this week or next.”

Vaccination clinics at the health department are ongoing on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Bush said, with Johnson County now exceeding 50 percent of residents vaccinated.

“Vaccinations were back down a bit last week for us. We did 53 at our clinic, but we are now above 50-percent vaccinated for our county,” Bush added.

As always, the Johnson County Health Department asks that we turn on our green lights to honor those who have fallen to the virus. Follow their social media presence to stay up to date on COVID-19 in our community and other public health events by searching for “Johnson County Health Dept.” on Facebook. The department’s usual weekly vaccination clinic will take place again on Wednesday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until vaccine supply for the day is exhausted and all three COVID-19 vaccines are available.