Indiana virus spread surges while many remain unvaccinated

Render of COVID-19

The number of counties at or approaching high risk for community spread of COVID-19 is surging as an especially contagious coronavirus variant spreads in Indiana, where nearly half of the eligible population remains unvaccinated.

Posted: Aug 12, 2021 8:51 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The number of counties at or approaching high risk for community spread of COVID-19 is surging as an especially contagious coronavirus variant spreads in Indiana, where nearly half of the eligible population remains unvaccinated.

On Monday, 43 counties were in Indiana’s second-riskiest category for the spread of the virus, up from 29 counties a week earlier, according to the most recent update posted Wednesday on the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

Indiana’s color-coded coronavirus risk map reflects weekly COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and the seven-day positivity rate.

The number of counties in the highest-risk red category, which indicates very high community spread, jumped to eight after Posey County became the first in more than six months to receive the rating last week.

Forty counties are listed as moderate-risk, or yellow. Eastern Indiana’s Randolph County is the only one that is blue — low risk.

The county ratings have gone downhill in a matter of weeks. On June 26, 86 of Indiana's 92 counties were in the blue category, and six were in yellow. No counties were listed in the orange or red categories.

The state's weekly dashboard update also indicated more than three times as many hospitalizations compared to late June when patient counts were below 400 — the lowest since the start of the pandemic.

About 1,300 Hoosiers currently are hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the most recent data released by the state health department. Of those, 305 were in intensive care, the most since Feb. 5.

Indiana recorded 2,507 new cases of the coronavirus Wednesday, up from 1,725 one week ago, and marking the fourth straight weekday over 2,000 reported cases of the virus.

Tests conducted this month on a sample of Indiana’s cases showed that as of Wednesday, 82% of them were the delta variant, the dashboard showed.

Indiana’s top health officials have warned that the highly contagious delta variant will continue to spread if vaccination rates do not improve. About 51% of Indiana’s eligible population — those age 12 and up — are fully vaccinated, according to the state health department.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb ended a statewide mask requirement in May, when virus spread had tapered and hospitalizations were on the decline. The governor said last month that he’s concerned about the delta variant, but maintained he would leave decisions about mask requirements in schools up to local officials.

School districts across Indiana are reassessing their back-to-school plans, with dozens updating their guidance to require masks as the next academic year begins. That includes several Indianapolis-area schools, which said earlier this summer they would let parents decide if their child needs to wear a mask in class.

Indianapolis Public Schools, the state’s largest district, announced last month it would require masks for all staff and students, regardless of vaccination status. District officials at the nearby Wayne Township Schools district tightened its policy for mask wearing the night before classes started.

After one week of in-person instruction, Southeastern Indiana’s Scott County School District 1 on Tuesday was among the first in the state to announce it would shift to virtual learning for two weeks after an “extremely high rate" of students were placed in coronavirus quarantine. District leadership said they hope to return to in-person learning by Aug. 23.

A week earlier, East Central Indiana's Anderson Community Schools quarantined more than 100 students due to COVID-19. The district — which is “mask optional” this year — implemented a temporary mask mandate through Aug. 20 in response to the spike.

___

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.

___

This story has been corrected to show that 2,507 new cases were announced Wednesday, not Tuesday.

West Lafayette
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 37°
Kokomo
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 37°
Rensselaer
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 37°
Fowler
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 37°
Williamsport
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 36°
Crawfordsville
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 34°
Frankfort
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 34°
Delphi
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 32°
Monticello
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Logansport
Clear
° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: °
Tracking rain, thunder, strong winds & snow...
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
Franklin292744
Perry290553
Vermillion283658
Tipton251167
Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
Unassigned0595

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