Tippecanoe County stayed in the orange category of the state’s color-coded COVID-19 metrics map Wednesday, but the Indiana State Department of Health raised its point level from 2 to 2.5 as county cases and testing positivity rates continued to rise after last month’s holiday gatherings.
“This week’s cases are again linked to Thanksgiving,” said Tippecanoe County Health Department administrator Khala Hochstedler. “People didn’t take our guidance that we recommended, the CDC, or the Indiana Department of Health, and so unfortunately we’re seeing hundreds of cases linked to Thanksgiving.”
In the past week, the Indiana State Department of Health has reported 1,814 additional COVID-19 cases in Tippecanoe County, and eleven confirmed deaths. That includes Wednesday’s report, with 184 cases, three deaths and a seven-day all-tests positivity rate of 14.6% reported.
“I did contact tracing on Saturday for three hours, and we contacted 80-plus people, and all but one was linked to Thanksgiving,” Hochstedler said.
Hochstedler also said cases were being traced back to smaller Thanksgiving get-togethers before the actual day of the holiday, during which people might have assumed they were being safer -- but were still gathering with others outside their own households.
For the county to reach the red category, the seven-day all tests positivity rate must reach 15%.
“I have no doubt that by next week, we will be there, unfortunately,” Hochstedler said.