AUBURN — The DeKalb County Health Department on Monday reported nine new cases of COVID-19 in DeKalb County residents.

With those cases, DeKalb County surpassed the 500 mark for a total of 505 cases of COVID-19 since the first was reported March 24.

However, the nine cases represent the lowest Monday total in recent weeks. The Monday reports accumulate three days over the weekends.

Monday’s new patients range in age from 20 to 76, but eight are age 49 or older. Five are recovering at home, a news release said, and the county has no further information on the other four.

They raise the county’s total to 505 cases since March and 154 so far in September. The county recorded one case of COVID-19 in March, 19 in April, 18 in May, 121 in June, 56 in July and 137 in August.

DeKalb County has reported 15 deaths from COVID-19, the most recent reported on Thursday.

Data from the Regenstrief Institute shows 47 DeKalb County residents have been hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 15 admitted to intensive-care units.

The health department recently issued an expanded set of guidelines for county residents:

• Masks are essential in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in asymptomatic people.

• Avoid groups where social distancing is not possible or is not being done.

• Keeping schools, restaurants and businesses open necessitates all of us teaming up and masking up.

• Lives can be saved and hospitalizations reduced through community teamwork.

• Please follow Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Executive Order requiring face masks in public settings.

• Continue to follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

State numbers higher

The last week of September is starting off with a higher-than-usual new case count for a Monday, while positivity ticked up on a lower-than-average testing day.

Coming off a weekend with higher case numbers than average, the state still is seeing little progress on bringing down its new case numbers.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health’s Monday report, Indiana added 872 new cases of COVID-19. That’s the second-highest total for a Monday, which generally has the lowest new case totals in any given week.

Testing was below the recent average, with the state processing about 17,000 tests, about 4,000 lower than the typical day this month. That meant a one-day positivity rate of 5.16%, the first time the daily rate has topped 5% since Sept. 10.

The state recorded 11 deaths, the fifth day of double-digit deaths in the last six days.

Over the weekend, Indiana crossed the mark of 2 million total tests, a milestone passed in Sunday’s report. As of Monday, the state has recorded 2,029,571 total tests.

Those tests have been given to 1,366,294 unique Hoosiers, meaning that about one-third of all tests have been retests on someone who has had at least one test before.

The state entered Stage 5 of its reopening plan, representing a full reopening Saturday. Gov. Eric Holcomb said last week that progress made on controlling COVID-19 finally allowed the state to take the final half-step to Stage 5 after being stuck in Stage 4.5 for almost three months.

Indiana’s mask mandate remains in effect until mid-October despite the advancement of the reopening plan.

Locally, Noble County saw a larger increase in new cases since Saturday while other counties had small increases.

Noble County added 16 new cases total from Sunday and Monday, followed by Steuben County with five new cases each and LaGrange County with two cases.

No new deaths were reported in the area.

Totals for the area are Noble County at 32, DeKalb at 15, LaGrange at 11 and Steuben County at seven.

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