Washington City Council Chambers

The Washington City Council unanimously approved a change to the mask ordinance. The city will now get its COVID-19 death data from Mercy Hospital Washington.

Previously the data came from the Franklin County Health Department, which experiences delays due to the state health department needing to confirm COVID-19 deaths of Franklin County residents.

The number of deaths is one of three metrics the city considers when enforcing its mask ordinance.

The first metric is the average number of cases over the last 14 days per 100,000 residents. The second metric is the number of deaths reported in the 14-day window, and the third is the number of hospitalizations over the past 14 days.

Each metric is coded as green, yellow, orange or red zone to determine the assessed threat COVID-19 poses. The metrics are evaluated each week, and if two out of the three metrics are not in the red for four consecutive weeks, the mask ordinance is lifted.

This change also retroactively and effectively redos the report for Monday, Feb. 8, where originally two out of the three metrics were in the red. Those metrics in red included the 14-day new case average at 26.29 and deaths, which had increased by 10.