Weekly ratings Dec. 8

Indiana hit its third-worst point ever in terms of county ratings, with half of the state’s 92 counties now rated red, representing very high spread of the virus.

INDIANAPOLIS — Half of Indiana is seeing very high spread of COVID-19, including all of northeast Indiana.

The other half of the state isn’t doing much better, with all but one of the remaining counties seeing “high” spread.

Indiana is now at its third-worst rating ever, with 46 counties in red, 45 in orange and just one in yellow on the state’s four-color ratings system.

The number of red counties, representing very high spread of the virus, increased sharply from 18 a week ago to 46 this week, with essentially the entire northern half of the state at that worst level.

Orange counties, representing high spread, dropped from 67 to 45, while the number of yellow counties showing moderate spread dropped from seven to just one. Once again, no counties were rated blue, the best rating representing low spread, the third-straight week that’s been the case.

All four counties in the northeast corner remained in red, making it the third consecutive week that all four are simultaneously occupying the worst rating. Counties earn a red rating if both cases exceed 200 per 100,000 residents and positivity tops 15%.

LaGrange County continues to hold the state’s highest positivity rate for the fifth consecutive week at 25.51%, a slight drop from 27.18% last week but still worst in the state. Cases came up after falling during the holiday week, rising to 297 per 100,000 from 239 per 100,000 last week.

DeKalb County improved this week in the sense that it no longer has the second-worst positivity rate or third-highest cases per capita as it did a week ago. Positivity was down to 20.9% from 25.84% last week, but cases rose to 791 per 100,000 from 648 a week ago, both still being among some of the highest in the state.

Steuben County saw its positivity rate rise to 21.83% this week, up from 19.24% and cases rose to 644 per 100,000 from 560 per 100,000 last week.

In Noble County, cases were up to 779 per 100,000 from 500 per 100,000 last week, while positivity increased to 17.8% from 15.99% last week.

Case counts were up across the board this week primarily because they were artificially low a week ago due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Indiana’s at its third-worst point for county ratings, but that’s actually trailing a bit behind where the state is right now, which is at its second-worst point ever in the pandemic.

Average daily cases has risen to its second highest level ever on the upswing of a surge, while total hospitalizations are also at their second-highest level and still increasing.

Deaths haven’t started rising sharply yet, but are certain to follow as rises in death counts usually occur three to four weeks after cases and hospital admissions start rocketing up.

Indiana is averaging more than 4,800 new cases per day at the moment, the hospital census is more than 2,600 patients and average daily deaths are around 30 per day.

The only time worse in the history of the pandemic is November-December-January of last winter.

The surge and second-worst point is being hit despite about 50% of the state being vaccinated as compared to near-zero at this time last year. That being said, the majority of the new case activity around the state is occurring among unvaccinated Hoosiers, with about 80% of new cases and around 90% of hospitalizations coming from the 50% of people who haven’t had shots.

Indiana’s statistics bear out that vaccinated individuals are less likely to contract the virus and, if they do, are less likely to be hospitalized or die as compared to someone who hasn’t been immunized.

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