Tippecanoe County Health Department

Tippecanoe County health officials and county commissioners met Wednesday to discuss the future of emergency health orders and the fate of current COVID-19 restrictions.

(Screenshot coronavirus.in.gov)

Tippecanoe County officially dropped into the blue category on the state’s COVID-19 metrics map Wednesday, which indicates the least-serious level of COVID spread. The shift came as the state this week announced a major expansion of vaccine eligible groups and a rollback to COVID restrictions.

Ben Thorp / WBAA

The Tippecanoe County Health Department offered updates on Wednesday as the county moved into the red on the state’s COVID-19 advisory map for the first time. 

The county turned red after its percent positivity rate - the number of COVID-19 tests coming back positive - hit its highest point since the start of the pandemic. 

Tippecanoe County Health Officer Dr. Jeremy Adler says the red designation puts caps on gatherings of more than 25 people.  

Ben Thorp / WBAA


The Tippecanoe County Health Department Monday opened the doors of its makeshift vaccination clinic. The clinic currently offers COVID-19 vaccinations to a group of people that includes residents over the age of 80.

Courtesy Indiana Department of Health

The Tippecanoe County Health Department will begin vaccinating residents 80 and older starting on Monday as part of the state’s vaccine rollout.

State health officials announced earlier this week that they would begin vaccinations as early as Friday but local officials say they will need more time to prepare.

Khala Hochstedler, the administrator for the Tippecanoe County Health Department, said vaccines will be given by appointment only.

Screenshot, Indiana State Dept. of Health

As Tippecanoe County officials prepare for local COVID-19 vaccinations, their warnings for caution continued Wednesday as case counts stay high and hospitals brace for the possibility of more holiday-season patients in the coming weeks. 

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.

(Screenshot from ISDH COVID-19 dashboard)

The Indiana State Department of Health added 288 confirmed COVID-19 cases for Tippecanoe County in its Friday update, coming within one case of the county’s highest one-day reported total of 289 cases on Nov. 13.

ISDH also reported one additional county coronavirus death; 36 people have now died from COVID-19 in Tippecanoe County.

Tippecanoe County Health Department

Tippecanoe County has passed a COVID-19 testing positivity benchmark, activating a county health department order now set to take effect Tuesday.

(Screenshot of coronavirus.in.gov)

Tippecanoe County Health Officer Dr. Jeremy Adler said Wednesday the local surge in COVID-19 cases is reaching a “crisis level”, as the systems in place to help infected residents continue to strain under rising case counts. This includes area hospitals, as more coronavirus patients arrive in need of care; testing facilities, with longer wait times for both tests and results; and contact tracing, as the health department grapples with multiple days yielding over 100 -- and 200 -- reported cases.

Emilie Syberg / WBAA

The Tippecanoe County Health Department issued an order Tuesday outlining new COVID-19 restrictions set to start if the county’s all-tests positivity rate equals or passes 10%. 

If that metric is met, indoor restaurant capacity will be lowered to 50%, and indoor bar capacity will drop to 25% -- both will require six-foot social distancing. Outdoor bar and restaurant seating will remain at 100% capacity, with six-foot social distancing. If used, tents will need two open sides. 

Emilie Syberg / WBAA

As Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced new restrictions Wednesday on counties flagged as orange or red on the state’s color-coded COVID-19 map, Tippecanoe County officials appealed again to residents to help slow an escalating local case spike as the holiday season approaches, colder weather sets in, local school corporations shift to remote learning, and local hospitals remain under pressure.

Courtesy of the governor's office

The Indiana State Department of Health moved Tippecanoe County into the orange level of the agency’s color-coded COVID-19 map Wednesday, reflecting rising case rates and increased community spread of the virus.

Tippecanoe County

Social gatherings in Tippecanoe County will be capped at 100 people under a new order unless the Tippecanoe County Health Department approves a larger group -- and the department is urging caution at gatherings of any size that include people from different households.

Emilie Syberg / WBAA

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, along with Greater Lafayette and university healthcare leaders, signed an open letter to Tippecanoe County’s health officer Tuesday urging him to allow the health department’s bar and restaurant order -- enforced since August -- to remain in place for another month. The letter comes after local officials have voiced support for removing some restrictions.

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