Indiana's color-coded COVID-19 prevalence map turned even redder this week – although three northeast counties bucked the trend.
All but 11 Hoosier counties qualified for red status, the most serious and representing widespread transmission of the virus.
Last week, 48 of the state's 92 counties, including Allen, had reached red status.
This week, Adams, Huntington, and Wells counties remained among the counties clinging to the upper tier of the orange category, the second most serious.
The avalanche of new cases, likely led by infections with the omicron variant, has led to canceled in-person classes at five area public schools and postponement of community events.
One postponed gathering is Fort Wayne's 36th annual Unity Day celebration, which was to have been held Monday at Sweetwater Sound. The event commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday has been rescheduled for April 9 at Parkview Mirro Center for Innovation and Research.
“This cautionary action was taken to ensure the safety of everyone,” organizers said in a statement.
After a three-day lull thus week, Allen County on Thursday again recorded more than 1,000 new cases in a single day. The county reported 1,148 new cases, bringing its total cases to 87,193.
The daily total was the fifth highest reported by the county throughout the pandemic.
No new Allen County deaths were reported, leaving the total at 992.
The county's seven-day positivity rate for the week ending Sunday stood at 28.18%, meaning that nearly 3 in 10 tests performed were positive for COVID-19.
For that same period, Adams County's positivity rate stood at 10.33%. Huntington County's was 14.95% and Wells County's was 11.3%.
The state's rate was 27.8% for the period between Dec. 30 and Jan. 5, the latest dates available.
Indiana reported 16,563 new cases and 75 deaths, bringing the totals to 1,410,021 cases and 19,393 deaths, the state's COVID-19 website said.
The website said available intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 in District 3 stood at 6.6% of 301 beds, or about 20 beds, on Thursday. District 3 has 12 northeast Indiana counties, including Allen.
Statewide, 8.9% of 2,041 beds, or about 180 beds, were available statewide.
Nearly 40% of Indiana's intensive care beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, the website said.
Known COVID-19 cases caused by the highly contagious omicron variant in Indiana soared to 82.14% of samples tested during the week ending Dec. 27, the latest date available.
Omicron was responsible for 47.19% of tested cases the previous week and 18.54% the week before that.
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As COVID-19 numbers continue to surge, we want to share the stories of the people behind the numbers to help others understand the realities of the pandemic. If you have recently tested positive for the coronavirus and are willing to be interviewed, please send your full name, date you learned you had an infection and a phone number where you can be reached to firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan. 20.