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Indiana overhauls county coronavirus ratings for school decisions

Indiana’s top health official has announced an overhaul of a new county-by-county rating system for coronavirus risks just before it was becoming public as a guide for school leaders on whether to keep students in their classrooms.

Posted: Sep 2, 2020 6:56 PM
Updated: Sep 3, 2020 9:28 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s top health official announced Wednesday an overhaul of a new county-by-county rating system for coronavirus risks just before it was becoming public as a guide for school leaders on whether to keep students in their classrooms.

The coronavirus has contributed to the deaths of 13 more people in Indiana, with many of the state’s deaths continuing among nursing home residents, the state health department said.

COUNTY SCORES

The state health department will now assign scores to all 92 counties based on the number of new cases per 100,000 residents and the percentage of tests confirming COVID-19 infections.

Those scores then coordinate with a color-coded rating system for the county’s level of community spread and risk.

It’s a change from the state’s unveiling of the system last week, which additionally calculated the week-by-week change in positivity rate at the county level, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said.

Box said the ratings were changed based on feedback received from school leaders in the past week.

The new metrics, she said, will be “less volatile” to rapid COVID-19 changes at the community level and more representative of “true community spread” within a county.

“We want these maps to be useful tools, but do not want them to give people a false sense of security when COVID-19 is still very active in their communities,” Dr. Box said. “The goal is to provide an easy to understand the system that local and school officials can use to inform their decisions.”

Some local school district leaders have been reluctant to embrace the new system, saying countywide statistics might not indicate the coronavirus risk in their communities.

The county ratings provide only recommendations for schools and does not trigger any mandates from the state, Box said. Even in the poorest scoring counties, Box said that the state still does not recommend closing in-person instruction at elementary schools.

“We are trying to give some direction in the form of a map with a color-coded system that’s more basic so that the average person can really look at that and understand the importance of saying to their kids ‘Put that mask back on or you’re not going to have your friends over,’” Box said.

CORONAVIRUS DEATHS

Indiana’s newly recorded deaths raise the state’s pandemic death toll to 3,325, including confirmed and presumed coronavirus cases, since Indiana’s first fatality was reported in mid-March, according to the health department.

The new deaths occurred between Friday and Tuesday.

The state’s weekly update on nursing home cases added 29 deaths among those residents.

That gives the state 1,849 COVID-19 fatalities linked to long-term care facilities, making up nearly 56% of the state’s death toll.

Seventeen of those deaths happened in the past week.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 359430

Reported Deaths: 6033
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion48740894
Lake30537484
Allen20668338
St. Joseph19177245
Elkhart18813246
Hamilton15457182
Vanderburgh10956137
Tippecanoe1012335
Porter932192
Johnson7732177
Hendricks7353165
Vigo6736106
Monroe604854
Madison5858125
Clark575986
Delaware5535108
LaPorte5291105
Kosciusko512948
Howard417680
Bartholomew380065
Warrick364374
Wayne362893
Floyd360279
Marshall343150
Grant326753
Cass323232
Hancock320663
Noble292450
Boone282056
Henry280741
Dubois271934
Jackson266638
Morgan259246
Dearborn252832
Gibson220333
Shelby216661
Knox212122
DeKalb210838
Lawrence205951
Clinton204025
Wabash195224
Adams192724
Miami191218
Daviess176747
Montgomery171429
Steuben168616
Jasper167717
Harrison167025
Ripley167022
Fayette165839
Whitley162417
LaGrange159534
Huntington153311
White151224
Putnam147831
Decatur145246
Wells145035
Randolph143724
Clay140426
Jefferson139719
Posey135722
Scott129725
Greene121054
Jay115516
Sullivan111418
Jennings106315
Starke104328
Spencer9678
Fulton96419
Fountain9588
Washington9019
Perry89221
Carroll81313
Franklin80228
Orange77028
Vermillion74911
Owen72210
Parke7056
Tipton68327
Blackford66116
Rush6488
Newton62513
Pike59321
Pulaski49720
Benton4483
Brown4226
Martin4006
Crawford3611
Union3032
Warren2893
Switzerland2825
Ohio2507
Unassigned0285

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 446849

Reported Deaths: 6753
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin57040674
Cuyahoga43640768
Hamilton34945379
Montgomery23828265
Butler17529154
Lucas17023438
Summit16486374
Stark11437231
Warren994381
Mahoning9092303
Lake840880
Lorain8213106
Clermont712156
Trumbull6752155
Delaware668142
Licking658677
Fairfield634265
Greene623977
Clark6038142
Allen569995
Medina565858
Wood5434113
Marion523067
Miami513168
Portage441676
Pickaway440350
Columbiana4131103
Richland409643
Tuscarawas405980
Wayne3838108
Mercer319859
Muskingum314512
Hancock284546
Ross278766
Darke275463
Ashtabula271957
Erie266670
Auglaize265841
Geauga257251
Putnam246455
Scioto240023
Union232213
Lawrence223341
Shelby222317
Athens22134
Seneca209621
Belmont198729
Madison191019
Sandusky189233
Huron185422
Preble180021
Jefferson172316
Defiance167733
Washington164129
Fulton159730
Knox159520
Crawford158620
Logan153821
Holmes153239
Ottawa143732
Ashland135133
Williams132912
Brown12675
Jackson125913
Clinton125619
Highland124418
Hardin122126
Champaign12158
Guernsey117115
Henry114629
Van Wert114118
Morrow11262
Fayette108117
Perry104513
Coshocton102815
Gallia95615
Pike9352
Adams91513
Wyandot88019
Hocking80718
Paulding78215
Noble69828
Carroll61412
Meigs49612
Monroe41022
Morgan37014
Harrison3053
Vinton2996
Unassigned00
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