Last week, only one WVPE listener county — LaGrange — was in the “red” category, indicating unchecked community spread of the virus, on Indiana’s COVID-19 tracking map. But this week, LaGrange has been joined in the “red” once again by Fulton and Starke counties.
The two counties had dropped from “red” to “orange,” indicating high spread of the virus. But their progress has reversed, and Fulton and Starke are back in the “red” as they were two weeks ago.
All other WVPE listener counties saw no change this week — St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall, Pulaski and Kosciusko are still “orange,” and LaPorte is still “yellow,” indicating moderate spread of the virus.
Statewide, things are looking a bit better. The vast majority of Indiana counties are still “orange,” but 15 are now yellow — up from eight last week.
Eight Indiana counties are still in the “red,” but that’s a big drop from 25 three weeks ago.
Hospitalizations continue to plateau in Healthcare District Two, which covers most of the WVPE listening area. As of Tuesday, there were 136 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and six more who may have the disease for a total of 142.
That’s below the Sept. 20 peak of 179, but the number of hospitalized patients has fluctuated between 141 and 156 since Sept. 22.
But 18.5 percent of area ICU beds are available — an increase from 16.2 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 2,115, a decrease from last Monday’s 2,522.
The recent surge has been driven by the highly contagious Delta variant and underwhelming levels of vaccination.
According to the state’s vaccine dashboard, 56.5 percent of Hoosiers aged 12 and over have been fully vaccinated. But vaccination rates vary widely by zip code.
And 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.
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