Rock County Public Health Department officials are reviewing COVID-19 data from the last two weeks to determine whether the county is ready to enter phase two of its reopening plan.

Kelsey Cordova, spokeswoman for the health department, said officials have been reviewing data and will make its final determination early this week.

Thursday kicked off the county’s second phase evaluation.

“The Rock County Public Health Department will be evaluating the data from the past two weeks, comparing the data to our benchmarks, and consulting with community partners to ensure that we are fully informed before making any recommendations for advancing into the next phase of the Rock County Reopening Phased Plan,” Cordova wrote in an email to The Gazette.

Phase one of reopening recommends businesses reopen at 25% capacity or with otherwise limited occupancy. It also recommends private gatherings be restricted to 10 people or fewer.

Senior centers, contact sports, schools and large events are still recommended to be prohibited.

Recommendations from the health department’s reopening plan are strongly encouraged but not enforceable.

Moving into phase two would recommend many businesses open at 50% capacity, private gatherings be restricted to 50 or fewer people and additional recommendations for other businesses.

As of Sunday, 685 cases of the coronavirus had been reported in Rock County. No new cases were reported between Saturday and Sunday. Twenty-one people had died, according to health department data.

The county is reviewing 11 benchmarks in its phased reopening plan. All benchmarks must be met before moving on to phase two, according to the county’s plan.

The following benchmarks had not been met during the county’s first evaluation:

  • Fewer than 5% of tests in Rock County are positive when averaged across a 14-day period.
  • At least 240 tests are taken each day over a 14-day period.
  • Number of infected health care workers decreases or is fewer than five over a 14-day period.
  • At least 35% of intensive care unit beds are available and more than 50% of ventilators are available.
  • 75% or more of contacts of infected people are contacted by contact tracers within 48 hours of positive results.
  • There is capacity for isolating or quarantining individuals who cannot isolate at home.

Rates of positive results fluctuated last week between 2% and 17%.

There are 234 people in Rock County who have recovered from the virus and 85 people who are considered probable for the virus, meaning they had test results come back inconclusive or they showed symptoms of the disease and were not tested.

Of all positive cases, 14% have been hospitalized.

Disparities in race and ethnicity in Rock County’s coronavirus cases remain.

In a county that is 90% white, the population of people infected with the virus is 71% white, 18% black, 7% other and less than 4% Asian or American Indian.

The ethnic breakdown of those infected is 41% Hispanic or Latino. The county’s population is 9% Hispanic or Latino.

The average age of those who have died from the virus is 72 years old. Of the decedents, 65%, have been over the age of 60.

Slightly more than half of people in Rock County who have been infected are between the ages of 35 and 64, 15% are ages 25 to 34, 13% are 15 to 24, 7% are 65 to 74, 8% are older than 75 and 5% are younger than 15.