Lens of the Future: September 1, 2021

The LENS committee urges everyone to be vaccinated and to follow the CDC guidelines on wearing masks, and to encourage all your friends and neighbors to schedule their vaccinations. All of the evidence indicates that universal vaccination is our best hope for controlling the pandemic, but only 55% of Polk County residents are fully vaccinated. Please take every opportunity to push this higher!

The LENS committee has replaced the individual metrics that we have been following with a composite “Risk Level” that is calculated and published by CovidActNow.org. CovidActNow.org is an initiative of the Act Now Coalition that is working to help people make informed decisions by providing timely and accurate data about COVID in the U.S. Information about the initiative can be found at https://covidactnow.org/covid-risk-levels-metrics, with the status of Polk Count at https://covidactnow.org/us/iowa-ia/county/polk_county/?s=21851111.

The CovidActNow.org Risk Level is updated weekly and is available for every county and state in the country, as well as for many of the larger metropolitan areas (including Des Moines). There are five levels of risk identified as follows.

Low – Green
Moderate – Yellow
High – Orange
Very High – Red
Extreme – Dark Red

Both Des Moines and Polk County are currently in the Very High Risk or Red category. The current data from the CovidActNow.org web site can be found [HERE] including historical graphs of several of the metrics that go into the determination of the risk level.

The LENS committee is continuing to watch the Risk Level as published by CovidActNow.org as well as the CDC Guidelines, UUA recommendations, and the response of the local and state governments, and will update the guidelines as appropriate.

Please contact any member of the LENS committee if you have any questions or suggestions. The current membership includes Debra Rodgers, Al Powers, Andrea Lemeuse, Anne Rozeboom, Crystal Loving, Ellen Taylor, Katie Allen, Margaret Schultz, and Mike Lauer.