Last week, four WVPE listener counties were in the “red” category on Indiana’s COVID-19 tracking map, which indicates unchecked community spread of the virus. But this week, only LaGrange County is still in the “red.”
Fulton, Starke and Pulaski counties were in the “red,” but they joined St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall and Kosciusko in the “orange” category, which indicates high spread of the virus, this week.
And LaPorte County dropped from the “orange” category to the “yellow” category, which indicates moderate spread of the virus.
Those improvements also seem to be happening statewide. The vast majority of Indiana counties are still in the “orange,” but eight are now in the “yellow” — up from five last week.
Eight counties are still in the “red” — but that’s a big drop from 13 last week and 25 two weeks ago.
But hospitalizations have plateaued in Healthcare District Two, which covers most of the WVPE listening area.
As of Tuesday, there were 142 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and nine more who may have the disease for a total of 151. That’s below the Sept. 20 peak of 179, but slightly higher than last Tuesday’s 140.
And 16.2 percent of area ICU beds are available — a decrease from 17 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 this week, they seem to have plateaued at a little more than half of that, with a seven-day moving average of just over 2,500.
Although it appears to be peaking, the statewide surge in cases has been driven by the highly contagious Delta variant and underwhelming levels of vaccination.
According to the state’s vaccine dashboard, 56.1 percent of Hoosiers aged 12 and over have been fully vaccinated. But vaccination rates vary widely by zip code.
Despite improvements on the state map, every Indiana county still has “high” community spread of the virus according to the Centers for Disease Control, meaning both vaccinated and unvaccinated Hoosiers should wear masks indoors.
And WVPE’s three Michigan counties — Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph — also have “high” community spread.
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