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Indiana News

Elkhart County joins LaGrange in the ‘red’ on Indiana’s COVID-19 tracking map

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Indiana Department of Health
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Elkhart County has joined LaGrange in the “red” category, which indicates unchecked community spread of COVID-19. All other WVPE listener counties stayed in the “orange” this week, indicating high spread.

LaGrange County has been in the “red” since the start of November

Elkhart’s move into that category comes one week after the Elkhart Community Schools board voted 6 to 1 to drop the district's mask mandate and instead move to a mask-optional policy.

And things are worse statewide — 62 Indiana counties are now “orange,” an increase from 44 last week. Twenty-one are “yellow,” which indicates moderate spread of the virus — about half of last week’s total.

Six counties are “red,” and three — all in southern Indiana — are “blue,” indicating low spread.

Hospitalizations have increased in Healthcare District Two, which covers most of the WVPE listening area. As of Tuesday, there were 165 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and 4 more who may have the disease for a total of 169.

That’s only 10 patients below the Sept. 20 peak of 179. The number of hospitalized patients has fluctuated between 128 and 156 since Sept. 22.

And 19.2 percent of area ICU beds are available this week — a 6.5 percent drop from last week.

Statewide COVID cases have declined from the Sept. 14 seven-day moving average peak of just over 4,100. But they are back on the increase.

On Nov. 16, the state reported 3,478 new cases and the seven-day moving average was 2,579. Between Oct. 21 and Nov. 3, the seven-day moving average plateaued between 1,550 and 1,650.

According to the state’s vaccine dashboard, 58 percent of Hoosiers aged 12 and older and 52.4 percent of Hoosiers aged 5 and older are fully vaccinated.

Two weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control recommended Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for all children ages 5 to 11. As of Nov. 12, nearly 9,000 Hoosiers aged 5 to 11 — about 1 percent of the state’s 608,000 — had gotten their first dose.

Parents can sign their kids up for appointments by visiting ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211. But vaccination rates still vary widely by zip code.

And according to the Centers for Disease Control, all counties in Indiana and Michigan have “high” community spread of the virus. That means both vaccinated and unvaccinated Hoosiers should wear masks indoors.

Contact Jakob at jlazzaro@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.

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