INDIANAPOLIS — As the delta variant continues to drive rising COVID-19 activity across the state, about 4-in-5 Indiana counties are now experiencing high or very high spread of the virus.

There are no counties in Indiana rated as having low spread of the virus any more as the statewide ratings have devolved to their worst point since January.

And, looking at the current trend in cases, hospitalizations and deaths, the situation is likely to continue worsening as the rise in activity has showed no signs of leveling off yet.

Across Indiana, 73 of 92 counties are now rated orange or red, representing high and very high spread of COVID-19, respectively.

That includes Noble, DeKalb, Steuben, Whitley and Allen counties locally, all of which are scored orange this week. LaGrange County remains one of the few counties still holding in yellow for moderate spread. This week, there were zero counties in blue rating, representing low spread.

It’s the seventh consecutive week that Indiana’s COVID-19 spread ratings have worsened compared to the week before.

This week, there are 11 counties rated red for very high spread, mostly in southern and western Indiana, up from eight last week. In the orange rating, the state saw a jump to 62 counties, up from 43 a week ago.

Meanwhile, yellow counties have dropped to 19 from 40 a week ago, and the sole blue county last week is gone now, with no counties in that color.

Indiana is continuing to see increasing COVID-19 activity statewide as the highly contagious delta variant of the virus continues to circulate the state rapidly.

Daily cases have risen to more than 2,650 per day over the last seven days, while deaths have risen to about 12.5 per day average over the past week — six times the rate it was just a month ago.

After holding out a bit earlier this month, northeast Indiana has joined most of the rest of the state seeing higher spread of the virus.

Noble County returned to orange this week, breaking a streak of 26 weeks in yellow or blue ratings, marking the first orange rating since Feb. 10.

Noble County saw another week of large increases in case counts, which vaulted the county into orange. Cases per capita rose to 255 per 100,000 residents, almost double the 138 per 100,000 rate last week. Positivity dropped slightly on expanded testing, at 7.71% compared to 8.76% last week.

DeKalb and Steuben counties stayed orange for another week, the fourth consecutive week for DeKalb and second week for Steuben.

DeKalb County had little change from last week’s high numbers, sitting at 241 per 100,000, up from 232 last week. Positivity was down slightly but still high at 12.63% compared to 13.1% a week ago.

Steuben County also saw a significant rise in cases, with the per-capita count jumping to 271 per 100,000 residents, nearly double the 153 per 100,000 a week ago. Positivity was down slightly to 12.35% compared to 13.24% last week.

LaGrange County, which tests at low numbers and therefore has less data compared to other counties, also saw a significant rise as that county approaches orange.

Cases were up 73 per 100,000, double the 37 per 100,000 last week. Positivity shot up sharply, too, to 13.12% from 7.17% last week.

Elsewhere in the region, Whitley County had a high case rate of 276 per 100,000 and positivity of 12.53%, while Allen County sits at 321 cases per 100,000 and 11.17% positivity.

North and northwest Indiana remain the last bastions of counties still sitting in yellow as the rest of the state has turned orange in recent weeks.

While the highly infectious delta variant is pushing even on vaccinated people, the vast majority of new cases are occurring among the state’s unvaccinated population.

Over the past week, about 9-in-10 new cases were diagnosed to unvaccinated Hoosiers, while historically about 97% of all new cases since January have been among unvaccinated Hoosiers.

About 52% of the eligible population age 12 and older is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but northeast Indiana rates lag the statewide average significantly.

Steuben County sits at 45%, DeKalb County is more than 10 percentage points behind at 41%, Noble County is farther back at 39% and LaGrange County remains the state’s least vaccinated at only 24%.
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