VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) -- Today we spoke with Vigo County Health Officials today about the positive case numbers we've been seeing, and what we can expect to see in the future.
They say mandatory testing at local colleges increased overall testing numbers. Oftentimes those results came back negative.
As of today, Vigo County has more than 6,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
But, health officials have seen a decrease in new positive cases. Last week there were 71 fewer cases than the week before.
This isn't all good news.
Health officials said the state laboratories were shut down for several days because of the holidays.
So, health officials predict our numbers will increase next week when the labs get caught up.
Roni Elder works for the Vigo County Health Department. She said, "We have hundreds of cases pending currently with their test results."
Health officials hope to be all caught up by sometime next week. Also today the Indiana color-coded map was updated at noon.
Currently, Vigo County is orange. That's one level below the most severe status. Health officials said we should expect to be in the red by next week.
They said our numbers indicate that we would be in the red zone right now. But, because college students are still in the area, we are still in orange.
This is because several local colleges are testing weekly, but soon they'll be in the winter break.
Many of those students would be going back to homes out of the county.
Health leaders say that could mean fewer tests and higher positivity rates. They said, "Our positivity rate has just been 2 to 3 percent from falling into that category. So, without those extra, these extra 'these people aren't positive, they have no reason to get tested other than school or work,' that's probably going to push us into the red next week."
Health officials said they are prepared to be in the red zone by next week. If we do get there we can expect some changes.
Events would go from 50 people to 25. Also, large gatherings will still be discouraged.
Health officials said, "So if other things need to be changed we'll be working on that, and have an idea of what we need to do."
The health department encourages you to do your part in helping stop the spread. They want you to follow the recommended protocols.