The number of Indiana counties in more serious color categories more than doubled this week on the state’s color-coded COVID-19 tracking map.

Screenshot captured via WebEx

Earlier this month, Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson signed an executive order giving two additional paid days off to city employees who get a COVID-19 vaccine by August 15, or who have already been vaccinated. Now, members of the city’s common council are questioning whether that incentive is legal.

At the council’s most recent meeting on Monday, Councilman David Henke said the mayor’s incentive would amount to over 10,000 hours in “lost time and services” – a cost that would be borne by the city’s taxpayers.


Indiana experienced record overdose deaths in 2020, according to new federal data.   


South Bend city officials had their first public conversation Wednesday night about how to spend the nearly $59 million the city will receive from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Indiana Department of Health

Indiana is seeing an increase in coronavirus cases, and two WVPE listener counties have moved to the “yellow” category, indicating moderate spread of the virus, on the state’s COVID-19 tracking map.


Both Fulton and LaGrange counties are now in the “yellow,” with Fulton receiving an extra alert due to a large number of weekly cases being traced back to close proximity gatherings. All other WVPE listener counties remain in the “blue.”


Photo provided courtesy of Goshen Health

Goshen Health is expanding visitor access and its inpatient and outpatient facilities. 

(Read the full list of requirements and restrictions below.)

GOSHEN, Ind., July 14, 2021 – Effective today, Goshen Health adjusted visitor restrictions to allow for more patient visitation and support. Masks and entry screenings remain required at all facilities. 

Non-COVID-19 inpatients

Screenshot captured via YouTube

Goshen Community Schools is investing  in after-school care and tutoring for students at risk of learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic after receiving a $756,000 state grant.

The school district partnered with KidsCare and the Boys and Girls Club of Goshen to apply for the state’s Student Learning Recovery Grant, which aims to fund local programming that supports students who may have fallen behind during the pandemic. 


Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

South Bend Community School Corporation received $92.7 million in federal elementary and secondary school emergency relief funds. During a July 12 school board meeting, the district outlined plans to use the money for improving academic achievement, funding infrastructure and technology upgrades and supporting teachers.


Indiana is set to unveil ILEARN results later this week, and officials say the data is a key tool to gauge student learning during the pandemic. But some parents question the value of the test and whether it should really be used to inform policy – especially after last school year.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

Clinical trials for antiviral drugs to treat COVID-19 have produced inconsistent results. New research led by Indiana University says the problem may come down to how these trials are designed. 

City of Elkhart

The City of Elkhart is making the COVID-19 vaccine available in its departments and offering extra paid time off in an effort to get more city employees vaccinated.

(Read the full release from the city below.)

To increase immunization from the COVID virus and its variants, the City of Elkhart is making it easy and attractive for staff to get vaccinated.

In partnership with Heart City Health, beginning Monday, July 12, the vaccine will be available at various city departments to be easily accessible to staff members.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Indiana is no longer requiring K-12 schools to implement any COVID-19 precautions or restrictions. State health officials say those decisions must now be made at the local level.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Indiana health officials say they’re not planning any more statewide COVID-19 restrictions – even as they sound the alarm about a rise in cases related to the virus’s delta variant.

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Alissa Eckert, MS


Berrien County is continuing to see low COVID-19 cases. During a July 7 press conference, county health officer Nicki Britten said that on average, they’re seeing less than three cases per day. About three percent of tests are coming back positive, and the county currently has nobody in the ICU with COVID-19.

Britten also said the county has not detected any cases of the highly contagious Delta variant yet, but that does not mean there are none in the area.


All WVPE listener counties are in the “blue” for the second week in a row on the Indiana Department of Health’s COVID-19 tracking map.


However, almost three times as many counties are now in the more serious “yellow” category as compared to last week.


In December 2020, the federal government created the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) to help small businesses that had to shut down due to COVID-19. Now, some southwest Michigan venues are frustrated with the program.

SVOG funding was allocated back in January, but Michigan Radio reports it took until the beginning of June for any Michigan businesses to receive approval. 


Justin Hicks/IPB News

Indiana’s COVID-19 public health emergency isn’t over yet. Gov. Eric Holcomb extended the emergency declaration another month Wednesday, through the end of July.

Indiana Department of Health


For the first time, all WVPE listener counties are in the “blue” on the Indiana Department of Health’s color-coded COVID-19 tracking map. Blue is the least serious of the state’s four color categories, indicating low spread of the virus. 


With fewer people needing a COVID-19 test due to the vaccine, Elkhart County is making some changes to its testing sites. 

The free testing site in the Concord Mall parking lot will permanently close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30. 

A new drive-up location will open at Elkhart Central Fire Station (500 East St. Elkhart, IN 46516) on July 6. That site will operate from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to noon on the first and third Saturday of each month.


Screenshot of YourNextStepIN website.

As thousands of Hoosiers still struggle with unemployment in the wake of  COVID-19, the state is offering free online career counseling funded by the federal CARES Act.

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Alissa Eckert, MS


Berrien County is now averaging just under five new cases a day, a big decline from the height of the pandemic. Test positivity rates are also low, at around three percent. In addition, Michigan fully reopened on June 22, dropping all capacity restrictions and face mask mandates.



The vast majority of Hoosier counties maintained their “blue” status this week on the state’s color-coded COVID-19 tracking map. 


Blue is the least serious of the state’s four color categories, indicating low spread of the virus. 


All WVPE listener counties kept their blue status from last week, except for Fulton County – it remains in the “yellow” category, which indicates moderate spread of the virus.


Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Indiana’s COVID-19 metrics have exponentially improved over the last several months. Last week, the state hit record lows for confirmed positive cases.


All but seven of Indiana’s 92 counties are now in the “blue” on the state’s color-coded COVID-19 tracking map, including almost all counties in the WVPE listening area.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Communities across the state are weighing what COVID-19 health and safety measures to continue this summer and into the fall, as the governor's mask requirement for schools expires at the end of June

Ball State University on Facebook

Ball State University is dropping its face mask mandate for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Alissa Eckert, MS

Once considered a coronavirus hotspot, Elkhart County’s COVID-19 cases are now at their lowest levels in a year. 

Photo provided courtesy of Goshen Health

Goshen Health is closing its COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Pro Park One, and offering the vaccine at Goshen Physicians Family Medicine & Urgent Care instead. 

(Read more in the release below.)

GOSHEN, Ind., June 14, 2021 – Effective today, COVID-19 vaccines will be administered at Goshen Physicians Family Medicine & Urgent Care – 2824 Elkhart Rd, Goshen. 

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The Indiana Department of Health reported 57 additional confirmed deaths over the last week. That brings the state’s total to 13,324 confirmed deaths. The state also reported more than 2,500 new cases in the last week – the fewest reported in a single week since testing became more widely available during the pandemic.

Justin Hicks/IPB News


On May 13, the Centers for Disease Control announced that vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks. That same day, St. Joseph County rescinded its face mask order.