TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - With the state's positivity rate increasing by nearly 2% Tuesday, health leaders in Tippecanoe County are preparing for another potential surge in COVID-19 cases.
They believe holiday travel will be a reason behind new cases.
Tippecanoe County has seen a decrease in cases over the last several days according to reports from the Indiana State Department of Health. Tippecanoe County Health Officer Dr. Jeremy Adler said this could be in part due to a decrease in testing during the holidays.
Dr. Adler said the county could see another rise in cases over the next few weeks.
"Due to holiday gatherings and travel, this increase could be large and lead to another surge, further straining our hospitals and leading to more deaths," said Adler.
Adler said it's difficult to predict what will happen over the next few weeks, but the county could numbers trend similar to how they did after Thanksgiving.
Over the last month, Tippecanoe County has reported more than 4,700 new cases of the coronavirus.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Tippecanoe County's positive rate was reported at 12.9%. This is below the state average of about 14.1%, but still remains above the national average of 12.1%.
Adler said there are currently 6,060 active cases within Tippecanoe County. 8,530 residents are reported to have fully recovered since the pandemic began.
Local hospitals are still at or near capacity.
According to Dr. Daniel Wickert, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Franciscan Health Lafayette, Franciscan currently has 14 COVID positive patients on ventilators.
IU Health Arnett has about 40 COVID patients in the hospital according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Bien.
Tippecanoe County is still listed as an orange zone based on the latest update from the Indiana State Department of Health. All surrounding counties are currently red zones.
If Tippecanoe County were to return to a red zone due to an increase in cases, it would need to meet the metrics of a less restrictive category for two consecutive weeks before it would be allowed to move back to that category.