Allen County's top doctor expects the community will soon move from orange to red on the state's color-coded map for coronavirus spread.
“As of the weekend, we were at 15.1%,” Dr. Matthew Sutter said Monday, referring to Allen County's seven-day positivity rate. “That puts us in red on Wednesday.”
Sutter, the county health commissioner, shared that information as a guest on Mayor Tom Henry's podcast. The men recorded the 16-minute episode at Citizens Square in downtown Fort Wayne.
The Allen County Department of Health reported 214 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 68,334. Deaths remained at 879.
Last week, the county stayed in the orange – the second-most serious category on the state's map – with a seven-day positivity rate of 14.03%, just shy of the 15% threshold for red. The rate measures the number of positive cases compared with the number of tests given.
Allen County's average daily case rate is above 300 and continues to rise, Sutter said, adding the delta variant remains dominant here.
“We're right back there in the difficult time,” he told Henry.
The state reported 3,080 new cases Monday and no new deaths, bringing totals to 1,130,719 known infections and 17,137 confirmed COVID-19 fatalities.
The effect on hospitals is of particular concern, Sutter said.
“What I don't think the people know is how bad the hospitals are right now,” he said. “The hospitals are really feeling the strain.”
The county's vaccination rate – 53.3% of eligible residents – is a big issue, Sutter said. He said the rate, which was the same as the state's Monday, is “not particularly good.”
Rampant misinformation and politicization of vaccines haven't helped, Sutter said.
“The vast majority of people being admitted and the vast majority of people on vents and dying are unvaccinated,” Sutter said.
Hoosiers 5 and older are eligible for the shots, which Sutter said are safe and effective.
Henry encouraged listeners to get vaccinated and to get the boosters.
“Whatever we can do to drive these numbers down,” the mayor said. “It really upsets me that Indiana is in the position that it's in, that so many of our residents have chosen not to be vaccinated, and that's really unfortunate.”
At a glance
Fully vaccinated eligible residents by county
Adams: 11,340 (34.9%)
Allen: 188,154 (53.3%)
DeKalb: 16,885 (41.5%)
Huntington: 15,792 (45.8%)
Kosciusko: 30,749 (41.4%)
LaGrange: 8,360 (23.2%)
Noble: 17,903 (40.2%)
Steuben: 14,824 (45.3%)
Wabash: 12,098 (41.2%)
Wells: 11,093 (41.8%)
Whitley: 14,278 (44.7%)
Source: Indiana Department of Health