COVID-19 cases increase in seven northern Indiana counties

INDIANAPOLIS — The number of Indiana counties seeing medium to high community spread of COVID-19 has risen from one to seven in a single week, and several of those are adjacent to Michigan, which has been experiencing the nation’s highest COVID-19 case rate.

Elkhart, LaPorte and Steuben counties, which share a border with Michigan, and Porter County, which sits across Lake Michigan from southwestern Michigan, are now in Indiana’s orange category, the state’s COVID-19 dashboard showed as of Wednesday.

Benton, Jasper, and Whitley counties are also in the orange category, which is Indiana’s second-riskiest rating for community spread, after the red category, in its color-coded count map.

ll seven of the orange category counties are in northern Indiana. Those seven are up from a single Indiana county, LaPorte County, rated in the category indicating medium to high community spread of COVID-19 during the week of April 12.

Indiana’s color-coded map shows blue, yellow, orange and red levels that measure weekly COVID-19 cases per 100,000 county residents and the 7-day positivity rate.

Under Indiana’s COVID-19 risk criteria, when counties enter the orange category the state health commissioner will work with local health and elected officials and take other steps intended to curtail the coronavirus spread, such as adding restrictions on social gatherings.

No Indiana counties are in the most dangerous red category, which indicates very high community spread and positivity of COVID-19. By late March, no Indiana had been in the red category for several weeks.