Howard County is among about one quarter of Indiana counties to receive the best weekly score possible in the state's weekly COVID-19 metrics system that aims to track the spread of the virus in Hoosier counties.
Howard County ranked "blue" in its overall score, which is determined by scores given for the number new cases of COVID-19 and the county's seven-day all tests positivity rate.
Howard County scored "yellow," the second-best ranking possible, for weekly cases per 100,000 residents, meaning there were between 10 to 99 new cases per 100,000 residents. No counties received a "blue" score in this category, while one-fourth of the counties received a "red" score, the worst possible. Red indicates there were 200 or more new cases of the virus per 100,000 residents.
In the category of seven-day all tests positivity rate, Howard County scored "blue," joining nearly half of Indiana counties with this score. Only one county received a "red" score, Fountain County, indicating a positivity rate of 15 percent or higher.
The Indiana State Department of Health today reported 1,172 new cases of the virus and 14 new deaths. Of those, three new cases were reported in Howard County and no new deaths.
Now, 139,269 Hoosiers have tested positive for the virus, and 3,609 have died. An additional 227 have died who were presumed to have the virus but had no positive test on record.
The state's seven-day all tests positivity rate is 5.3 percent (3.6 percent in Howard County) and 9.6 percent (7.9 percent) for the seven-day unique tests positivity rate.
The number of Hoosiers in ICU beds for the virus has risen. Currently, 396 people are in an ICU for COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19, accounting for 17.8 percent of Indiana's ICU beds. Just over half of the beds are in use for non-COVID patients, while 31.7 percent remain open.
The number of Hoosiers on ventilators for COVID-19 also is up, at 124. That accounts for 4.3 percent of the state's ventilators; 77.9 percent remain open.
According to the Regenstrief Institute, which has been tracking COVID-19 trend data in Indiana, the state is trending upward in three of five categories: positive tests, emergency room visits, and hospital admissions. Trend data for ICU admissions and deaths was inconclusive.
Howard County is trending upward in one of the five categories, ICU admissions. Since last Friday, five residents have been admitted to an ICU for COVID-19 or symptoms of it.
The county is trending downward in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Trend data for positive tests was inconclusive.
According to the Regenstrief Institute, 81.3 percent of Hoosiers who have tested positive for the virus have recovered.