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Indiana to Release Color-Coded COVID-19 Infection Map

A new tool that is aimed at guiding Indiana’s schools through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will go live overnight after some tweaks, according to state officials familiar with the data map project.

by Indianapolis Star / September 3, 2020
Shutterstock/Sean Pavone

(TNS) — A new tool to guide schools through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will go live overnight after some tweaks, according to state officials. 

Originally, a color-coded map measuring community spread of the virus in Indiana counties was supposed to be published online Wednesday. Gov. Eric Holcomb and Dr. Kristina Box, the state's health commissioner, announced the new system and corresponding recommendations for school operations last week.

During the state's weekly coronavirus briefing Wednesday, Box said the map would be published overnight and should be available online Thursday. 

The color-coded system will be based on two key metrics — the number of new cases per 100,000 residents and percent positivity. When it was introduced last week, a third metric was going to be included but Box said there were concerns about the volatility that the third metric — change in percent positivity — could create. 

"We want these maps to be useful tools," Box said," but do not want them to give people a false sense of security when COVID is still very active in their communities."

The new system will assign scores to counties based on the metrics. The score will coordinate with a color-coded rating system for the county's level of community spread and risk. 

The colors are:

Blue: minimal community spread, indicating schools can operate all grades in person but limit activities where social distancing is not feasible Yellow: moderate community spread, indicating schools can operate all grades in person but increase vigilance in distancing, hand hygiene and masks Orange: moderate to high community spread, indicating grade schools can operate in person but a strong recommendation for hybrid learning for middle and high school students Red: high community spread, indicating grade schools can operate in person or consider hybrid learning and consider for virtual learning for middle and high school students.

©2020 The Indianapolis Star. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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