INDIANAPOLIS — After being passed by LaGrange County in June, Noble County has once again taken over the distinction of the most all-time cases of COVID-19 in the four-county area.
On Saturday, Noble County increased another 12 cases, rising to 469 overall. That was enough to pass LaGrange County — which went through a large surge after Memorial Day — as Noble’s northern neighbor added just two cases to 467 overall.
Steuben County increased two cases to 128 all-time, while DeKalb County was up just one to 160.
Over the past week, between June 27 and Saturday, Noble County saw an increase of 52 cases, while LaGrange County rose 30 cases, DeKalb County increased nine and Steuben County eight.
Those rates are lower compared to a surge the region went through from approximately mid-May to mid-June.
Noble County is now on the verge of becoming just the ninth county of Indiana’s 92 to surpass 1% known cases among its population. LaGrange County passed that mark in June, currently now at 1.18%, fourth-highest in the state.
No new deaths were reported in the four-county area on Saturday, with Noble County remaining at 28, LaGrange County at seven, DeKalb County at four and Steuben County at two.
Over the week, LaGrange County had eight new hospital admissions — 26.7% of the new cases it logged over the week — while Noble County had three admissions and two each in Steuben and DeKalb counties.
As for Indiana, the state logged its third 500-plus case day in the last 10, adding 517, as cases continue to be up slightly compared to June averages.
The statewide positivity rate came down a bit compared to Friday, but was still above 6%, the fourth-straight day in a row. Positivity rates — the percentage of total tests that come back positive — has increased from lows around 3% in mid-June.
The slight uptick in daily cases and the rising positivity rate, as well a small increase in daily hospitalizations were all reasons cited by Gov. Eric Holcomb for slowing the state’s reopening plan slightly, taking Indiana to Stage 4.5 on Saturday instead of the originally planned Stage 5, representing a full reopen.
Rising cases in neighboring states and huge surges in other parts of the U.S. gave Holcomb pause, leading to a hold on capacity increases for restaurants, bars, night clubs, tourist attactions and entertainment venues. The state also held the gathering size limit at 250, instead of removing that restriction as would have happened in Stage 5.
The pause in gathering sizes have caused some local school districts to have to rearrange their graduation plans, either having to bar parents from attending or moving previously scheduled indoor ceremonies outside in order to reduce the threat of transmission.