INDIANAPOLIS — Across Indiana, COVID-19 spread is at the lowest its ever been, again.
This week, the state tied its best-ever numbers for weekly ratings gauging spread of the virus, with numbers matching those set the week of March 17.
Locally the picture was mixed — Noble County stayed at the best rating, DeKalb and LaGrange counties flipped and Steuben County stayed at the second-best yellow — but overall case and positivity numbers remain historically low around the region and state.
Indiana has just 27 counties rated yellow this week for moderate spread, while the remaining 65 counties were all scored blue, the best rating, representing low spread of the virus.
That’s the exact same distribution of yellow and blue counties that was seen on March 17, which is the best the state’s seen since color-coded ratings were first launched in September 2020.
Activity across Indiana has dropped significantly this month as vaccine rate continue to tick up, but also possible due to some seasonality, as COVID-19 numbers hit very low rates in June 2020 and throughout the summer before spiking to all-time highs later in fall and winter.
Locally, DeKalb County improved to a blue rating this week, while LaGrange County lost its blue and ticked up to yellow. Noble County stayed blue and Steuben County stayed yellow for another week.
In DeKalb County, a drop in positivity again pushed the county to blue as the county yo-yos between the two colors recently.
Positivity dropped to 3.24% from 6.07% the week before, while cases also fell a bit to 32 per 100,000, down from 46 per 100,000 last week.
DeKalb has been flipping up and down depending on its positivity rate recently. It is blue this week, was yellow the week before, blue the week before that and yellow the week prior to that.
Counties most often turn blue by achieving rates of fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 and positivity under 5%.
In LaGrange County, a jump in its positivity rate triggered a yellow rating, although the county is almost nearly blue anyway by virtue of very low case counts.
Positivity shot up to 7.87% after being at a very low 2.34% last week. That being said, cases were down to just 12 per 100,000, from 40 per 100,000 the prior week.
The county could have stayed blue this week if cases had fallen under 10 per 100,000 even with positivity between 5-10%.
LaGrange County’s numbers are highly volatile currently because there is very little ongoing testing occurring in the county, so every individual test or case still being detected is having a larger impact to its positivity rate.
Despite the color code and uptick in positivity, current trends show very little COVID-19 activity in LaGrange County.
Elsewhere in northeast Indiana, Noble County maintained its blue rating for a second consecutive week, while Steuben County remains just on the outs of the best score, sitting barely in yellow range.
Noble County’s positivity rate dropped sharply to 2.47% from 4.79% last week, while cases similar at 56 per 100,000, up slightly from 52 per 100,000 a week prior.
Steuben County had slightly higher case and positivity counts at 49 cases per 100,000 and 5.86% positivity, up from 37 cases and 5.24% positivity last week.
Indiana has recently crossed 2.6 million Hoosiers reaching full vaccination status, including the first groups of 12-15 year olds who weren’t eligible to get shots until mid-May. That’s only about 45% of the population age 12 and older, with Indiana lagging many states in terms of overall vaccination rate.
Northeast Indiana is also lagging that state average significantly, with only about 1-in-3 residents in the four-county area reaching full vaccination.