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All Indiana Counties In "Red" On CDC COVID-19 Map – Indicating High Levels Of Spread

(Screenshot from CDC Data Tracker)

The Centers For Disease Control’s COVID data tracker is reporting that all of Indiana’s 92 counties fall into the “red” level for transmission of the coronavirus– indicating high levels of community spread.

The CDC determines transmission risk by looking at new cases per 100,000 in the past seven days and the percentage of positive tests in the last seven days, taken from . If a county falls within either marker for "red" on the CDC map, that is where it is classified. 

Monroe County's positivity rate according to the CDC is 5.44 percent. But it is also has 150 cases per 100,000 residents. 

Newton County has a positivity rate of 15.93 percent on the CDC's website and 19 cases per 100,000 residents.  

cdc guidance
Screenshot from CDC Data Tracker

The “red” ranking means there are more than 100 new cases per 100,000 or the positivity rate is more than 10 percent in the last seven days.

The CDC’s current rankings for Indiana counties comes from August 31 to September 6 for case rates per 100,000 and August 29 to September 4 for percent positivity. 

This differs from the state's dashboard, which says it shows results for August 30, 2021. The state's COVID county distribution dashboard is updated Wenesdays at noon. 

The CDC calculates positivity rate using percentage of positive diagnostic and screening nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) in the last seven days.

The CDC's website says, "Percentage of positive diagnostic and screening NAAT during the last 7 days is calculated by dividing the number of positive tests in the county during the last 7 days by the total number of tests resulted over the last 7 days."

If positive diagnostic and screening NAAT suggest different rates of transmission, the CDC selects the higher number.

This is not how the state figures its COVID-19 rankings. The state's website says:

"To calculate test positivity rate, IDOH will utilize Monday’s 7-day average for the all tests positivity rate for each county. Please note that this calculation is lagged by 6 days to ensure complete testing information has been received.

To calculate each county’s new weekly cases, IDOH will identify all new positive cases that were collected and resulted in the period from Monday through Sunday. This number is then divided by each county’s total county population and multiplied by 100,000.

After calculating the individual scores for each of the metrics, the two scores are averaged together to determine the total county score. An example of this calculation is described in detail in Table 2."

This story has been updated with additional context on how ranking is decided. 

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