Nearly all WVPE listener counties are now in the “orange” category on the state’s COVID-19 tracking map, and one has returned to the most serious “red” category.
St. Joseph, Elkhart, LaPorte and Starke counties all moved to the “orange” category this week, which indicates high spread of the virus. They join Pulaski, Marshall and Kosciusko counties, which all maintained their orange status from last week.
Fulton County has moved to the most serious “red” category, which indicates unchecked community spread of the virus. It’s the first red county in our area since the end of January, more than seven months ago.
LaGrange County is one of four statewide still in the “yellow” category, which indicates moderate spread of the virus. That’s a 91 percent decrease from a month ago, when 47 Hoosier counties were still in the yellow.
The surge in cases across the state has been driven by the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant — it currently makes up 98.4 percent of cases sampled by the Indiana Department of Health — and underwhelming levels of vaccination.
According to the state vaccine dashboard, 53 percent of Hoosiers ages 12 and older have been fully vaccinated. That’s 0.7 percentage points more than last week, but vaccination rates still vary widely by zip code.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, every Indiana county has “substantial” or “high” community spread of the virus, meaning both vaccinated and unvaccinated Hoosiers should wear masks indoors.
All WVPE listener counties — including Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph counties in Michigan — fall under “high” community spread.
Hospitalizations continue to rise in Healthcare District 2, which covers most of the WVPE listening area. They’re now comparable to the peak of the spring surge in May.
Only 12.5 percent of ICU beds are available in the district — 23 percent are occupied by COVID-19 patients, but the majority are being used by non-COVID patients.
Contact Gemma at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.
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