The Indiana Department of Health reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. This is the first time the state has surpassed 1,000 new cases in a day since May 14.
June’s daily cases reached a pandemic-low average – just 284 cases per day. But cases have begun to climb again. In three weeks of July, the state has averaged about 485 cases per day.
And IDOH reports the vast majority of sampled cases are the more infectious delta variant – accounting for more than 85 percent of new cases. The strain has caused surges in cases across the country and world.
Indiana doesn’t test every positive COVID-19 case to see which variant it is. Instead, the state tests a sample of positive COVID-19 cases and updates its dashboard to reflect month-to-month increases in each strain.
With cases rising, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday updated its guidance on mask-wearing – now recommending that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors if they live in areas with significant or high spread.
To help identify those places, the CDC released a map Tuesday identifying counties based on level of community spread – or cases per 100,000 people in a seven-day period.
There are pretty significant differences between the CDC’s metrics and the IDOH metric map. The IDOH map uses both weekly cases per 100,000 residents, but it also includes the positivity rate of all tests in a county – taking the average of both to settle on a score.
Of the state’s more than 13,500 new cases in the last month, Marion and Allen counties accounted for 3,000. Marion had nearly 2,000; Allen had a little more than 1,000.
But when taking population into account, DeKalb County led the state – adding more than 50 new cases per 10,000 residents in the last month.
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Since Indiana’s pandemic low on July 3, hospitalizations have nearly doubled from 371 to 735. Tuesday’s census marked the fifth straight day the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen.
Deaths have remained low, reporting only 99 deaths in the last month and averaging about three per day.