FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As officials prepare for a possible COVID-19 surge across the country, Northeast Indiana has seen the severity of the virus remain low despite an increase in infections in recent weeks.

In the last four weeks, the number of people who have tested positive for the virus rose from 163 during the week of April 22 to 423 during the week of May 20, according to Allen County Department of Health numbers.

During that first week, five people died from the virus. In the ensuing weeks, a total of five more died.

Though the numbers of those testing positive are on the rise, health officials are not alarmed.

“Cases indeed are rising, but case counts by themselves have become less indicative of the severity of COVID-19 in our community,” wrote Matt LeBlanc, director of communications for the Allen County Department of Health, in an email. “Hospital admissions are still low, and the CDC lists Allen County among many other counties in Indiana as those with ‘low’ community levels.”

The state health department has stopped tracking exact hospitalizations, but the Centers of Diseases Prevention and Control classifies a community as having low levels of the virus by calculating cases per 100,000 people, new hospital admissions and inpatient bed metrics.

The 7-day average for COVID-19 hospital admissions in Indiana is 47, according to local health department numbers. For all of Northeast Indiana, it’s four.

“A rise in cases is not unexpected, and it’s a reminder that the pandemic is not over,” LeBlanc said. “We should still be cautious and remember that vaccinations and boosters are effective in preventing the most serious outcomes, including hospitalization and death.”

As of Friday, there have been at least 105,740 Allen County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1,153 who have died as a result of the virus, according to local health department numbers.

Latest COVID-19 numbers in Allen County

  • Week of May 20: 1 death; 423 positive cases
  • Week of May 13: 1 death; 356 positive cases
  • Week of May 6: 1 death; 227 positive cases
  • Week of April 29: 2 deaths; 182 positive cases
  • Week of April 22: 5 deaths; 163 positive cases

Source: Allen County Department of Health