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: 759562

Reported Deaths: 13624
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook3183246823
DuPage48499821
Will41204590
Lake39051663
Kane33273488
Winnebago19765284
Madison15363270
McHenry14996167
St. Clair14160269
Champaign1133660
Sangamon10669107
Peoria9785139
Kankakee9105114
Rock Island8981152
McLean896159
Tazewell7415118
Macon6817141
Kendall665854
LaSalle6471144
DeKalb528049
Adams494155
Vermilion421859
Boone408135
Whiteside3953131
Williamson385988
Clinton349163
Coles345461
Ogle303845
Knox299374
Effingham298527
Grundy298524
Henry286122
Jackson284237
Marion265566
Stephenson258238
Macoupin241423
Randolph241426
Livingston238738
Morgan233050
Bureau222455
Franklin220427
Monroe219148
Lee211338
Jefferson202663
Christian196943
Woodford191631
Fayette191236
Logan188622
Iroquois183633
McDonough164344
Fulton161414
Shelby146326
Douglas144718
Jersey138424
Union125628
Montgomery124020
Perry118431
Lawrence118314
Crawford118014
Saline117929
Warren114822
Bond114311
Jo Daviess113820
Carroll110927
Cass107023
Pike106331
Hancock101016
Moultrie96911
Wayne96833
Clay93622
Greene89432
Edgar88517
Richland86819
Clark83820
Piatt8295
Ford82024
Mercer80012
Washington7802
Mason77723
Johnson7757
Jasper69512
Cumberland68319
White66410
De Witt65518
Massac6475
Wabash6469
Menard5162
Pulaski4512
Marshall4357
Hamilton4114
Schuyler3431
Brown3376
Henderson3061
Stark3045
Calhoun2781
Alexander2684
Putnam2560
Scott2510
Edwards2423
Gallatin2133
Unassigned2130
Hardin1612
Pope1111
Out of IL100

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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

Cases: 359430

Reported Deaths: 6033
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion48740894
Lake30537484
Allen20668338
St. Joseph19177245
Elkhart18813246
Hamilton15457182
Vanderburgh10956137
Tippecanoe1012335
Porter932192
Johnson7732177
Hendricks7353165
Vigo6736106
Monroe604854
Madison5858125
Clark575986
Delaware5535108
LaPorte5291105
Kosciusko512948
Howard417680
Bartholomew380065
Warrick364374
Wayne362893
Floyd360279
Marshall343150
Grant326753
Cass323232
Hancock320663
Noble292450
Boone282056
Henry280741
Dubois271934
Jackson266638
Morgan259246
Dearborn252832
Gibson220333
Shelby216661
Knox212122
DeKalb210838
Lawrence205951
Clinton204025
Wabash195224
Adams192724
Miami191218
Daviess176747
Montgomery171429
Steuben168616
Jasper167717
Harrison167025
Ripley167022
Fayette165839
Whitley162417
LaGrange159534
Huntington153311
White151224
Putnam147831
Decatur145246
Wells145035
Randolph143724
Clay140426
Jefferson139719
Posey135722
Scott129725
Greene121054
Jay115516
Sullivan111418
Jennings106315
Starke104328
Spencer9678
Fulton96419
Fountain9588
Washington9019
Perry89221
Carroll81313
Franklin80228
Orange77028
Vermillion74911
Owen72210
Parke7056
Tipton68327
Blackford66116
Rush6488
Newton62513
Pike59321
Pulaski49720
Benton4483
Brown4226
Martin4006
Crawford3611
Union3032
Warren2893
Switzerland2825
Ohio2507
Unassigned0285