STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

53 Indiana counties labeled higher-risk for COVID-19 spread

The Indiana State Department of Health on Wednesday again increased the number of counties designated as higher-risk locations for coronavirus spread as the state continues to record sharp increases in hospitalizations and new infections.

Posted: Oct 29, 2020 8:30 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana State Department of Health on Wednesday again increased the number of counties designated as higher-risk locations for coronavirus spread as the state continues to record sharp increases in hospitalizations and new infections.

Fifty-three of Indiana’s 92 counties were placed in orange or red levels under the agency’s color-coded weekly tracking map update, compared to 40 counties that were at those levels last week.

While one less county is listed under the most severe level compared to last week, more than half of the counties across the state are designated as higher-risk — the most since the state implemented the rating system in September.

“We’re seeing COVID-19 spread in virtually every county,” Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said during a news conference Wednesday. “Our hospitals are under a tremendous amount of pressure."

More than 100 people a day are being admitted to Indiana hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms, said Dr. Kristina Box, Indiana’s health commissioner. Almost 70% of those hospitalized with the coronavirus in Indiana are age 60 or older, she continued, lending to a new statewide effort focused on protecting venerable populations in long-term care settings, like nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

To slow the spread of the virus, more than 1,300 members of Indiana's National Guard are being deployed to the 133 hardest hit long-term care centers on Nov. 3, assisting with infection control practices like improved COVID-19 testing for facility residents and employees. That support will then expand to all 534 nursing homes in Indiana over the next three weeks, Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Dale Lyles said Wednesday. The extra help will be available until Dec. 31.

Holcomb decided a month ago to lift nearly all of Indiana’s restrictions while extending the statewide mask mandate. He announced Oct. 14 another month-long renewal of the mask order until at least Nov. 14.

The governor, up for reelection next week, doubled down on the importance of mask-wearing, which he called “a small price to pay” in order to bring COVID-19 case numbers down, as well as for keeping schools and businesses open.

“We can control only what we can control... Our whole posture is, ‘Let’s be proactive, not reactive,’” Holcomb said Wednesday. “We need individuals to understand that their actions have consequences or their inactions have consequences.”

Indiana's highest-risk counties are now in the eastern region of the state, including hotspots in Fayette, Dearborn and Ohio counties. Box said the state has recommended that local officials in those counties take steps to control the size of events and establish other "guardrails” to help reduce virus transmission.

The state’s remaining 39 counties received yellow or blue ratings based on the number of new cases per 100,000 residents and the percentage of tests confirming COVID-19 infections.

Still, Box noted ongoing “challenges” with contact-tracing that could be worsening the statewide spread of COVID-19. The state is seeing an uptick in people who are refusing to answer questions or comply with contact tracers, Box said, as well as families that are neglecting to test multiple people in their homes to avoid quarantines.

“We are seeing an increasing number of people who are just like ‘We’re not going to help you, not going to give you information, not going to quarantine, not going to isolate, we’re just not going to do it,’” Box said. “But it is worth it, and it’s part of what we can do as Hoosiers to try and protect other Hoosiers.”

The state health department’s daily update of its coronavirus dashboard showed 1,679 Hoosiers are currently hospitalized with the coronavirus, the highest since Mid-April. Of those, 470 are in intensive care. Such hospitalizations have grown by more than 69% since Sept. 22 — the day before Holcomb announced the changes.

Now, the state’s availability of open ICU beds has dropped below 30% for the first time since health officials started tracking the metric.

State officials also added 14 more coronavirus deaths on Wednesday to raise the state’s death toll to 4,227, including confirmed and presumed coronavirus cases. That’s an increase of 204 deaths in the past week.

___

Casey Smith is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

West Lafayette
Clear
20° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: °
Kokomo
Clear
21° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 11°
Rensselaer
Clear
19° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 19°
Fowler
Clear
19° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 19°
Williamsport
Clear
20° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: °
Crawfordsville
Clear
19° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 19°
Frankfort
Clear
22° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 16°
Delphi
Clear
22° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 14°
Monticello
Clear
22° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 14°
Logansport
Clear
21° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 12°
Mild Conditions Ahead
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 338977

Reported Deaths: 5723
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion46131870
Lake29183469
Allen19572307
Elkhart18074236
St. Joseph17808239
Hamilton14364172
Vanderburgh10546128
Tippecanoe948130
Porter890690
Johnson7132171
Hendricks6820162
Vigo643592
Monroe572452
Madison5506124
Clark547678
Delaware5252104
LaPorte501997
Kosciusko484042
Howard382978
Bartholomew355165
Warrick350073
Wayne345886
Floyd338078
Marshall320446
Cass311531
Grant302550
Hancock294357
Noble274147
Boone267655
Henry266139
Dubois253732
Jackson242034
Dearborn241131
Morgan236543
Gibson207329
Shelby204159
Knox198021
DeKalb193435
Clinton192922
Lawrence191349
Wabash183922
Miami181417
Adams180023
Daviess167545
Fayette159834
Jasper159113
Montgomery158329
Steuben158116
Harrison155824
Ripley155721
LaGrange152232
Whitley149715
Huntington141810
White140323
Decatur140044
Putnam138129
Wells137030
Clay135125
Randolph134022
Jefferson133416
Posey130318
Scott119421
Greene112253
Sullivan106717
Jay106414
Jennings98714
Starke98025
Spencer9268
Fulton90119
Fountain8778
Perry87321
Washington8487
Franklin77027
Carroll75313
Orange73128
Vermillion6927
Owen6699
Parke6466
Tipton64027
Rush6078
Blackford59613
Newton59412
Pike54920
Pulaski45016
Benton3943
Martin3866
Brown3815
Crawford3251
Union3012
Switzerland2735
Warren2663
Ohio2457
Unassigned0267

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events