Indiana to remain in Stage 4.5, updating color-coded county positivity map

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 7:22 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced today that the Hoosier state will remain in Stage 4.5 for another 30 days.

The statewide mask mandate will also be extended until September 25.

There will be no changes in capacity restrictions for bars, restaurants and entertainment venues.

The positivity rate back in the middle of June was 4.4%, but increased to 7.6% leading to the mask mandate. Last week, the rate last week dipped to 6.6%. Dr. Box wants to see that number below 5%.

Hospitalizations are also on the rise.

Gov. Holcomb says Hoosiers need to continue being safe.

“There’s certain things that we just need to be doing and that’s what you are just ticked off,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Masks are key, physical distancing, managing our way through this, good hygiene, all of those things add up to put you in a very strong position and then we can continue to see more people go back to work or go back to school.”

The state is also updating the color-coded county positivity map to show the prevalence of coronavirus statewide.

The map will rely on three metrics: the number of new cases in the past week per 100,000 residents, the positivity rate and the change in positivity rate from week to week.

Each metric is scored from 0-3 and then averaged out for the weekly score.

Counties will receive one of four colors to label community spread.

The following guidelines are from the Indiana State Department of Health:

Blue: minimal community spread

-Schools operate all grades in person but limit activities where social distancing is not feasible.

-Extra-curricular activities to follow local and state guidelines, including distancing and masks, and limit spectators.

-Outreach to encourage public to continue with precautions.

Yellow: moderate community spread

-Schools continue in all grades in person but increase vigilance in distancing, hand hygiene and masks.

-No assemblies or activities if social distancing is not feasible.

-Postpone or cancel extra-curricular activities as warranted, consider allowing only parents or close family to attend athletic and other events.

-Work with local health department to determine if increased precautions and public outreach should begin to halt the spread.

Orange: moderate to high community spread

-Grade schools continue in-person; strong recommendation for hybrid learning for middle and high school students.

-No assemblies or large group activities.

-Strong recommendation to limit extra-curricular activities and have competitors and participants only, with no in-person attendees.

-Discussions with parents about limiting social events outside of school.

-County education leaders work with local health department to consider implementing aggressive prevention efforts in schools and communities,

Red: high community spread

-Grade schools remain in person or consider hybrid learning; middle and high schools consider virtual learning

-No assemblies or large group activities.

-Extracurricular activities cancelled.

-Discourage social events.

-Count education leaders work with local health department to consider implementing aggressive prevention efforts in schools and communities.

“A county that is in blue today can easily change colors if people ignore social distancing, refuse to wear their masks and continue to go to work or school if they are symptomatic or close contacts,” Dr Box said. “The best way to get counties into blue and to keep them there is for every Hoosier to make the choice to protect others. All school systems are asked to make every effort to keep one school building open, even during high community spread, to assist students with remote learning and ensure a safe environment and provide food security.”

The new map is expected to go live next Wednesday and be updated weekly.

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