Indiana color-coded COVID-19 county map

The color of your county can tell if your schools are open

Contributed By:The 411 News

State health dept. launches COVID-19 county map to help guide school openings

From cool blue to red hot, Indiana's State Dept. of Health new color-coded map is providing more information on how local communities and health departments can use that info to provide guidance on opening schools and keeping them open in the state’s 92 counties.

The sharp rise in COVID-19 infections in July and into August caused many school districts in Lake County and across the state to reverse their plans to have students return for the opening of the school year.

Parents, school staffs, and teachers urged school officials to use caution. That has resulted in decisions to delay students return to schools in some districts for 8-9 weeks and have them continue with e-learning.

Lake County saw some districts open with in-person learning only to close the buildings in a matter of days because of COVID-19 outbreaks.

And there are districts in Lake County that opened with in-person learning in August and remain open without outbreaks. That fact could decrease anxieties and fears some have about schools not being safe.

The new color-coded county map with its 4 colors of blue, yellow, orange and red shows quickly and simply the virus' spread within the state.

Lake County's color is yellow, meaning the spread of the coronavirus is mild or moderate and is decreasing. Although next door in Porter County, the color is also yellow but the infections are increasing.

LaPorte is shaded blue, meaning infection levels are low.

Counties shaded orange and red signify infection levels are high and severe. Only 1 county is red.

The state's health department developed the color-coded county maps from new COVID-19 reporting data. Where prior data focused on numbers of infections, tests, hospitalizations and deaths, the new maps look at each county’s weekly number of cases per 100,000 population and the weekly number of tests that had positive results.

Data is collected from Monday through Sunday and reported every Wednesday showing updates to the map.

Weekly county scores range from zero to 3 points: blue = 0 to 0.5, yellow = 1 to 1.5, orange = 2 to 2.5, and red = 3. How the scores are calculated can be found at

Schools in blue counties can operate all grades in person while limiting activities where social distancing is not feasible. Extra-curricular activities should follow local and state guidelines, including distancing and masks, and limit spectators.

Schools in yellow counties can continue all grades in person but increase vigilance in distancing, hand hygiene and masks. If social distancing is not feasible, assemblies and activities should not be held.

ISDH suggests postponing or cancelling extra-curricular activities; and consider allowing only parents or close family to attend athletic and other events.

Schools should work with local health department to determine if increased precautions and public outreach should begin to halt the spread.

Schools in orange counties can continue with in-person attendance in grade schools; and strong recommendation for hybrid learning for middle and high school students.

No assemblies or large group activities.

Strong recommendation to limit extracurricular activities. For competitive events, ISDH suggested participants only with no in-person attendees.

Hold discussions with parents about limiting social events outside of school.

County education leaders work with local health department to consider implementing aggressive prevention efforts in schools and communities.

In red color counties, grade schools remain in-person or consider hybrid learning; middle and high schools should consider virtual learning. No assemblies or large group activities.

Extracurricular activities should be canceled. Discourage social events.

County education leaders should work with local health department to consider implementing aggressive prevention efforts in schools and communities.

Indiana's COVID-19 data, including the county map can be viewed at Click on your county to see details of its scoring.

Story Posted:09/07/2020

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