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Indiana News

WVPE listener counties mix of ‘red' and ‘orange’ on state COVID-19 map, hospitalizations remain high

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Indiana Department of Health
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Starke, Marshall and Kosciusko counties are still in the most severe “red” category — indicating unchecked community spread of COVID-19 — on Indiana’s coronavirus tracking map.

St. Joseph, Elkhart, LaPorte, LaGrange, Fulton and Pulaski counties have now dropped to the “orange,” which indicates high spread of the virus.

Statewide, 27 counties are “red” and 65 — the remainder of the state — are “orange.” Since last week, no Indiana counties have been in the “yellow” category, indicating “moderate” spread of the virus, the first time since January.

Hospitalizations have slightly decreased in Healthcare District Two, which covers most of the WVPE listening area, but remain near the peak of the winter 2020 surge.

As of Tuesday, there were 258 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and 11 more who are suspected to have the disease for a total of 269.

That’s a drop from 325 last Wednesday, but only 11 percent of area ICU beds are available.

Statewide COVID cases have also jumped up. On Tuesday, the state reported 7,940 new cases and the seven-day moving average was 4,860, an increase from the Dec. 26 low of 4,123.

Between Oct. 21 and Nov. 3, the seven-day moving average plateaued between 1,550 and 1,650.

State health officials are raising the alarm about overwhelmed hospitals due to the surge in cases. Dr. Lindsay Weaver, the chief medical officer of the Indiana Department of Health, is urging Hoosiers to get vaccinated.

More than 80 percent of current COVID-19 hospitalizations are unvaccinated.

According to Indiana’s vaccine dashboard, 59.3 percent of Hoosiers aged 12 and older and 54.6 percent of Hoosiers aged 5 and older are fully vaccinated.

In addition, about 38 percent of fully vaccinated Hoosiers have received COVID-19 booster shots. But vaccination rates still vary widely by zip code.

During the Wednesday press conference, Gov. Eric Holcomb said he was “blindsided” and demoralized by recent comments from Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita.

In an interview last week with WSBT on vaccine mandate lawsuits, Rokita said he “doesn’t believe any numbers any more” and that state COVID-19 data has been “politicized from day one.”

On Wednesday, Holcomb said Rokita has not reached out to him, and he had not reached out to the attorney general.

“And it’s quite serious when you accuse or insinuate anyone of inflating numbers. In my book, that’s called fraud,” Holcomb said.

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 Michiganders and Hoosiers should wear masks indoors.

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

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