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St. Joseph returns to ‘yellow,’ LaGrange and Fulton return to ‘orange’ on state map


One WVPE listener county is back in the “yellow” and two have moved out of the “red” this week on the Indiana Department of Health’s COVID-19 tracking map. St. Joseph County joined LaPorte County in the yellow category, indicating moderate spread of the virus.


Starke County is still in the most serious red category, which indicates unchecked spread of the virus. But Lagrange and Fulton County both moved from the red to the “orange” this week.


All other listener counties – including Elkhart, Marshall, Kosciusko and Pulaski – remain in the orange category, which indicates high spread of the virus.


Statewide, the number of red counties dropped by half this week, while the number of yellow counties doubled.


Hospitalizations continue to plateau in Healthcare District Two, which covers most of the WVPE listening area. 


As of Monday, there were 135 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. That’s below the Sept. 20 peak of 179, but the number of hospitalized patients has fluctuated between 134 and 156 since Sept. 26.


But 23.4 percent of area ICU beds are available — an increase from 18.5 percent last week.


Statewide COVID cases have been declining since Sept. 14, where they hit a seven-day moving average peak of just over 4,100. As of Monday, they hit a seven-day moving average of 1,855 – a 12 percent decrease from last Monday’s 2,110.


The recent surge has been driven by the highly contagious Delta variant and underwhelming levels of vaccination.


According to the state’s vaccine dashboard, 56.8 percent of Hoosiers aged 12 and over have been fully vaccinated, but vaccination rates vary widely by zip code.


With the exception of Warren County which has dropped to “substantial,” all Indiana counties still have “high” community spread of the virus according to the Centers for Disease Control.


That means both vaccinated and unvaccinated Hoosiers should wear masks indoors.


WVPE’s three Michigan counties – Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph – also have “high” community spread, as does the rest of the state.


Contact Gemma at or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.


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Gemma DiCarlo came to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.