Indiana’s COVID-19 positivity rate up 6% since state entered Stage 5

Health

INDIANAPOLIS — The state reported a record-breaking single-day case count Wednesday, and Indiana’s positivity rate is also reaching record highs.

According to the state’s website, the all-test 7-day positivity rate sits at 10.3% — a rate that is 6% higher since the state entered Stage 5.

“Positivity has been increasing week over week for the last probably about seven weeks now,” said Dr. Brian Dixon, director of public health informatics at Regenstrief Institute.

Dr. Dixon compares the progression of the state’s color-coded map to a wildfire.

“Right now, the whole state is on fire,” said Dr. Dixon.

Right now, no counties are reporting a rate less than the state’s goal of 5%, and only five counties are reporting a rate below 10%.

On the other hand, nine counties are in the red metric with a positivity rate of 15% or more, while the remaining majority of counties are in orange with a positivity rate between 10%-14.9%.

“In September, with people starting to relax a little bit and colder temperatures bringing people indoors, those embers have now turned into flames,” said Dr. Dixon.

In Madison County, the positivity rate is at 10.8% — more than two times the state’s goal.

“We’re higher than what I’m comfortable with,” said Stephenie Grimes, the Madison County Health Department administrator. “But certainly we’re not sticking out or much different than any other county in the state.”

Grimes said schools are most sensitive to the change in colors on the map.

“That color coded system can mean the difference between [holding] athletic events and not [holding] athletic events or who can attend those athletic events or any other extracurricular activities,” said Grimes.

Grimes attributed the increase to a majority of communities getting “tired” and not following safety protocols. She said one way to reduce the rate would be to increase testing.

“If things go the way they’ve been going, I think we’ll see pretty much every county in the red in the holiday season,” said Dr. Dixon.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said beginning Nov. 15, a new executive order will be issued targeting restrictions for orange and red counties lasting at least a month.

Click here for a full list of those restrictions.

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