INDIANAPOLIS — New COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Noble and LaGrange counties as northeast Indiana counties have seen a recent surge of activity over the last week.
As of Monday’s noon update from the Indiana State Department of Health, Noble County’s overall case count had risen to 237 cases, an increase of 52 cases — 28% — since Memorial Day.
LaGrange County has also seen a significant rise in cases over the seven-day span, increasing to 24 cases to 84 overall, a 40% increase.
DeKalb County also saw an increase of eight cases to 37 total, up 28% in one week.
Steuben County was the only local county with relatively little new action, increasing five cases over the last week to 84 overall.
Indiana as a whole advanced to Stage 3 of the state’s five-step “Back on Track” plan on May 24, allowing some additional increases in gathering sizes and fitness centers and campgrounds to reopen.
State health officials were bothered by photos, videos and reports of large, crowded gatherings over the Memorial Day weekend, warning that people should continue to practice social distancing even as more of the state reopens.
While Indiana’s new case numbers haven’t been spiking — the last week of the month had a case count under the full-month average — new cases have been recorded more frequently in the local area. As on Monday, the state recorded only 256 new cases of COVID-19 from Sunday, the lowest single-day number since March 28.
No new deaths have been reported recently, as Noble County remains at 21 deaths total while LaGrange and Steuben counties have each had two and DeKalb County had one.
Statewide deaths, as they usually do, slowed over the weekend as reporting typically lags over the weekend. Indiana recorded just nine deaths each on Sunday and Monday.
Monday’s report also included updates figures about cases in long-term care facilities, with 19 new facilities reporting their first COVID-19 case. Among those was North Ridge Village in Albion, which recorded one patient with COVID-19 early last week.
In total, 271 new COVID-19 patients were identified in nursing homes last week, with 69 deaths coming from those long-term care facilities.
Noble County is the only county locally that has confirmed nursing home cases, with three facilities affected.
The state does not identify which nursing homes have infected patients or even county-level numbers, instead only releasing aggregates. Some counties have voluntarily opted to release detailed information about nursing homes, while others have not.