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: 1364919

Reported Deaths: 24770
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook54636010136
DuPage907311283
Will75665991
Lake67328990
Kane58479777
Winnebago33296475
Madison30549520
McHenry28644288
St. Clair27886514
Peoria23156316
Champaign20674145
Sangamon18807234
McLean18185180
Tazewell16973289
Rock Island15019318
Kankakee14212210
Kendall1307994
LaSalle12573243
Macon10774200
DeKalb9886119
Vermilion9677132
Adams8476123
Williamson7435130
Whiteside7166172
Boone671173
Ogle611881
Grundy589775
Clinton576190
Coles569096
Knox5567150
Jackson503164
Henry500367
Livingston483185
Stephenson476583
Woodford476076
Effingham473072
Macoupin470883
Marion4471115
Franklin445575
Monroe435693
Jefferson4298120
Lee417352
Randolph413384
Fulton394457
Morgan390482
Logan388559
Bureau372482
Montgomery372374
Christian367773
Fayette317755
Perry317660
Iroquois302566
McDonough286247
Jersey269150
Douglas258935
Saline256554
Lawrence240625
Shelby229937
Union225940
Crawford212126
Bond205424
Cass199325
Jo Daviess181524
Clark180233
Warren180046
Pike179252
Ford178947
Wayne177753
Hancock176132
Carroll175536
Richland175240
Edgar170540
White169826
Washington164525
Moultrie161128
De Witt151625
Mason151445
Piatt150014
Clay148143
Mercer147333
Johnson144415
Greene143933
Massac134640
Wabash134512
Cumberland129019
Menard123612
Jasper115118
Marshall107518
Hamilton83615
Schuyler7587
Brown7106
Pulaski6877
Stark63824
Edwards57112
Henderson52514
Calhoun5182
Putnam4843
Scott4791
Alexander46811
Gallatin4584
Hardin38612
Pope3224
Out of IL50
Unassigned02355

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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

Cases: 734736

Reported Deaths: 13471
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1005261750
Lake54085975
Allen40876680
St. Joseph36249552
Hamilton35783408
Elkhart28784442
Tippecanoe22449219
Vanderburgh22359397
Porter18894310
Johnson18053381
Hendricks17298315
Clark13026191
Madison12740339
Vigo12490248
LaPorte12040214
Monroe11936170
Delaware10738187
Howard9974218
Kosciusko9455117
Hancock8346142
Bartholomew8091156
Warrick7795155
Floyd7682178
Grant7090174
Wayne7067199
Boone6732101
Morgan6603139
Dubois6165117
Marshall6092112
Cass5864105
Dearborn582678
Henry5772105
Noble564484
Jackson503273
Shelby493896
Lawrence4580120
Gibson436592
Harrison436472
DeKalb430185
Clinton428353
Montgomery425589
Whitley397539
Huntington393580
Steuben390757
Miami383268
Knox372790
Jasper370848
Putnam362660
Wabash355080
Adams342555
Ripley340470
Jefferson331781
White316354
Daviess298299
Wells292081
Decatur285792
Fayette281862
Greene280485
Posey272033
LaGrange268370
Scott267354
Clay260947
Washington241932
Randolph241781
Spencer232631
Jennings230749
Starke218454
Fountain213646
Sullivan212242
Owen202556
Jay197230
Fulton195740
Carroll190120
Orange184354
Perry184237
Rush173725
Vermillion170044
Franklin168435
Tipton163145
Parke146716
Pike135334
Blackford135132
Pulaski117245
Newton108634
Brown102641
Crawford101415
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82415
Switzerland7938
Union71410
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417