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Howard County moves to 'yellow' in new state COVID-19 scoring system

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Howard County has moved to "yellow" across the board in the Indiana State Department of Health's newly-implemented scoring system that aims to track the change in COVID-19 community spread by scoring counties either blue, yellow, orange, or red in two categories (cases and positivity rate) and then awarding an overall score. 

Last week, the first week the scores were released, Howard County received "blue" scores, the best possible, in the overall weekly score and for its seven-day posivitity rate, meaning it was less than 5 percent. The county received a "yellow" score in the category of weekly cases per 100,000 residents, meaning 10 to 99 new cases were reported. 

This week, the county lost its "blue" scores and moved to "yellow" across the board for a slightly increased positivity rate (5.24 percent), which affected the overall weekly score, moving it to "yellow." To score "blue," counties must have fewer than 10 new cases of COVID-19 per week and a seven-day all tests positivity rate of less than 5 percent. 

Just more than half of Indiana counties received "blue" overall scores. No counties received "red" scores, the worst possible, in the overall weekly score category. 

However, four counties received "red" in the category of weekly cases per 100,000 residents, meaning 200 or more new cases were reported over the past week. Those counties were Vigo, Monroe, Fayette, and Delaware. Only two counties scored "blue," Warren and Switzerland counties, meaning fewer than 10 new cases were reported. 

No counties scored "red" in the seven-day all tests positivity rate, and the majority scored "blue." 

According to the ISDH, the overall county score aims to help guide Hoosiers "as they make the best decisions possible to protect their communities and limit the spread of COVID-19." 

Daily update

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Today the ISDH reported eight new cases of COVID-19 in Howard County and no new deaths. 

Now, 1,167 local residents have tested positive for the virus, and 62 have died.

Statewide, ISDH reported 720 new cases of the virus and 17 new deaths. Now, 101,485 Hoosiers have tested positive for the virus, and 3,173 have died. An additional 224 people have died who were presumed to have the virus but had no positive test on record. 

Across the state, more than 20 percent of all cases of COVID-19 have been in those ages 20 to 29. 

Data trends

According to the Regenstrief Institute, which has been tracking COVID-19 data trends, the state is trending downward in positive tests, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Data for ICU admissions was inconclusive. 

Howard County is trending downward in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and ICU admissions. Trend data for deaths and positive tests was inconclusive. 

In total, 82.2 percent of Hoosiers who have tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered, according to the Regenstrief Institute.