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County moves to 'red' on state COVID-19 map

73 Indiana counties now in 'red'

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For the first time, Howard County entered "red" on the Indiana State Department of Health's COVID-19 metrics map, which aims to track community spread of the virus and institutes county-by-county restrictions based on color. 

The map scores counties either "blue," "yellow," "orange," or "red," which represent increasingly worse community spread. The overall score is assigned based on weekly cases per 100,000 residents and the seven-day all tests positivity rate.

Howard County scored "red" across all categories. 

Overall score

This week, the number of counties in "red" increased from 57 last week to 73. The remaining 19 counties were "orange." Once again, no counties received an overall score of "yellow" or "blue." 

This marks the first time Howard County joined "red" at the state level, though a local ordinance put the county in "red" late last year. 

Weekly cases per 100,000 residents

All Indiana counties but one -- Newton County -- scored "red" in the category of weekly case per 100,000 residents. Newton County scored "orange." 

To score "red," counties must have 200 or more cases of the virus per 100,000 residents. Howard County had 783 cases per 100,000, up significantly from 560 last week. 

Seven-day all tests positivity rate

In the category of seven-day all tests positivity rate, Howard County also scored "red," along with the majority of Hoosier counties. 

Two counties, Wabash and Monroe, scored "yellow," and 16 counties scored "orange." 

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To score "red," counties must have a seven-day all tests positivity rate of 15 percent or greater. Howard County's was 16.33, up from 13.11 last week. 

Daily update

The Indiana State Department of Health today reported one new COVID-19 death in Howard County and 73 new positive cases.

This brings the total to 12 deaths so far for the year, an average of one per day. The new death was reported in a person between the ages of 40 and 49, according to the ISDH. 

In total, 7,634 residents have tested positive, which is just over 9 percent of the population. 554 of those cases have occurred since last Wednesday. 

Locally, 38,212 residents have been tested for the virus, 46 percent of people in Howard County. 

The seven-day all tests positivity rate sits at 17.1 percent, a percent over the state rate of 16.1 percent. The seven-day positivity rate for unique individuals is 25 percent -- 2 percent under the state rate. 

Statewide, the ISDH reported 3,686 new cases of the virus and 59 new deaths, for a total of 574,119 positive cases and 8,790 deaths. An additional 373 have died who were presumed to have the virus but had no positive test on record. 


Hospitalizations continued to dip. As of yesterday, 2,484 Hoosiers were hospitalized with the virus or symptoms of it, down from 2,515 the previous day. The last time hospitalizations were lower was on Nov. 9 when 2,336 people were hospitalized.

Still, the numbers are far greater than they were in the spring when they peaked at 1,799 on April 13. 

Statewide, 25 percent of the state's 2,140 ICU beds were available, while 25.7 percent were in use for COVID patients. Of the state's 2,797 ventilators, 73.2 percent were available, while 10.2 percent were in use for COVID patients.