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 28, 2020 5:39 PM

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.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1675793

Reported Deaths: 27960
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook63468311202
DuPage1081271376
Will912621126
Lake800101085
Kane68370871
Winnebago41041560
Madison40087596
St. Clair36272596
McHenry34708329
Champaign26998197
Peoria26928368
Sangamon25754285
McLean23012218
Tazewell20647330
Rock Island18854361
Kankakee17910248
Kendall16203113
Macon15305250
LaSalle15030287
Vermilion14371199
Adams13156152
DeKalb12152133
Williamson12054174
Whiteside8297183
Jackson808694
Boone794383
Coles7888124
Ogle756887
Grundy738086
Franklin7330115
Knox7286169
Clinton7124102
Macoupin6951105
Marion6918143
Henry663777
Effingham660299
Jefferson6550143
Livingston597698
Stephenson584592
Woodford576892
Randolph5553100
Christian533682
Fulton526976
Monroe5246103
Morgan5076100
Logan495074
Montgomery491681
Lee478660
Bureau442691
Saline433869
Perry433275
Fayette430664
Iroquois421577
McDonough373761
Shelby347748
Jersey335653
Lawrence332533
Crawford332430
Douglas327337
Union306548
Wayne304063
White279833
Richland279557
Hancock274135
Cass266230
Clark265740
Pike264558
Clay258754
Edgar258049
Bond256925
Warren244066
Ford243959
Carroll236438
Moultrie234533
Johnson228131
Wabash217319
Jo Daviess216029
Massac215550
Mason214252
Washington212228
De Witt205530
Greene205340
Mercer204336
Piatt201614
Cumberland190026
Menard172213
Jasper161221
Marshall141321
Hamilton134022
Schuyler107710
Brown106510
Edwards104018
Pulaski103911
Stark81628
Gallatin7878
Alexander71912
Scott7136
Henderson70314
Calhoun6922
Hardin60116
Putnam5654
Pope5526
Unassigned1702433
Out of IL160

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 1003647

Reported Deaths: 16423
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1351072116
Lake661851159
Allen57674800
Hamilton46217464
St. Joseph44210611
Elkhart35807508
Vanderburgh32162480
Tippecanoe27859258
Johnson25007444
Hendricks23795357
Porter22856365
Madison18694408
Clark18505252
Vigo17393303
Monroe15218199
LaPorte15101250
Delaware15024261
Howard14681289
Kosciusko12260147
Hancock11682175
Bartholomew11548180
Warrick11270189
Floyd11059214
Wayne10946253
Grant10019219
Morgan9438176
Boone8891116
Dubois8249131
Dearborn819893
Henry8174152
Noble8003106
Marshall7891135
Cass7519121
Lawrence7433171
Shelby7171119
Jackson695889
Gibson6567115
Harrison646691
Huntington636899
Knox6360106
DeKalb628699
Montgomery6229109
Miami591498
Putnam577678
Clinton572171
Whitley563455
Steuben558976
Wabash5309103
Jasper527879
Jefferson509297
Ripley498686
Adams479775
Daviess4653114
Scott438473
Greene423596
Wells422588
Clay421360
White417364
Decatur4152102
Fayette405787
Jennings385961
Posey375844
Washington356150
LaGrange356078
Randolph343499
Spencer338743
Fountain333860
Sullivan327852
Starke315570
Owen313970
Fulton309167
Orange292663
Jay283445
Franklin265143
Perry264852
Rush260832
Carroll260633
Vermillion257254
Parke230426
Pike228443
Tipton227259
Blackford191841
Pulaski183157
Crawford159023
Newton156848
Benton150217
Brown145747
Martin138019
Switzerland134811
Warren120816
Union107016
Ohio84213
Unassigned0540