State Unveils Map To Help Schools, Counties Track Spread of COVID-19

(UNDATED) – Today the Indiana State Department of Health updated its COVID-19 dashboard with a map designed to help communities track the spread of the coronavirus.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said the map is a guideline; the state will not mandate any school to halt in-person instruction based on any of these levels.

Thursday morning, the map showed one county in red, seven in orange, 44 in yellow, and 40 in blue.

Local counties in Yellow:

  • Lawrence
  • Monroe
  • Brown
  • Greene
  • Orange
  • Washington

Local counties in Blue:

  • Bartholomew
  • Jackson

Local counties in Orange:

  • Daviess
  • Dubois

Local counties in Red:

  • Martin

The color-coded system assigns scores to counties based on three key metrics: the number of new cases per 100,000 residents, positivity percentage, and change in percent positivity from the previous week.

Those scores then coordinate with a color-coded rating system for the county’s level of community spread and risk. It was not immediately known how often the scores would be updated.

A blue color designation indicates minimal community spread. Schools can operate in person for all grades but limit activities where social distancing isn’t feasible.

Yellow indicates moderate community spread of the virus. In this stage, the state suggests schools increase vigilance around mask-wearing, social distancing. and hand-washing and consider limiting attendance at athletic events to parents and close family.

In red counties, the state suggests middle and high schools move to virtual learning and cancel all assemblies and extra-curricular activities.

Still, the new system provides only recommendations, not mandates, meaning public and private schools can choose not to follow them. Districts are not required to test students, teachers, or school staff, and there are no penalties for schools that don’t comply with the state’s rating system.