The Indiana Dept. of Health announced Boone County would be designated as a red county on the state’s coronavirus color-coded advisory map, a designation that indicates the greatest spread of the new coronavirus.
The designation means social gatherings in the county will be limited to 25 people. Schools, at the discretion of local health departments, will still be allowed to hold in-person classes. On Jan. 13, 73 of Indiana’s 92 counties were designated red on the state’s advisory map, and the remaining counties were given orange designations, the state’s next-closest designation.
“Hoosiers, we still have a lot of work to do,” Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said of the advisory map. “We just need more time (to vaccinate residents).”
Boone County was designated as red in this week’s advisory map with a composite score of 3.0 based on the county’s 7-day positivity rate and rate of cases per 100,000 residents. The two rates are scored on a scale of 0-3, added and then divided to determine a county’s composite score. Counties with a positivity rate greater than 15 percent are given a score of 3, as are counties that report more than 200 new cases per 100,000 residents in a week.
According to the IDOH, Boone County had a 17.44 percent positivity rate as of Jan. 13 and 586 positive cases per 100,00 residents. The state’s data often lags behind the Boone County Health Dept.’s data by at least a week, BCHD officials have said.
After discovering a reporting error, the IDH now calculates each county’s test positivity rate by dividing the sum of all its positive tests in the last seven days by the sum of all its tests in the last seven days and multiplying the quotient by 100 to determine a percentage. Previously, a county’s test positivity rate was calculated as a 7-day rolling average of daily rates, which did not account for fluctuations in the number of tests performed each day.
To return to an orange designation, which indicates a lower level of community spread, the county would need to have a weekly two-score metric indicative or an orange designation for two consecutive weeks.