Northwest Indiana, as well as the state as a whole, reported record-breaking average caseloads Monday as positivity rates continued to rise sharply.
The state is averaging more than 1,100 cases daily, which is 65% higher than the level Indiana reached when the virus saw its first peak in early May, an NBC 5 Investigates analysis found.
In Northwest Indiana, which for a while had been fairing better than Indiana as a whole, average daily cases are at record highs as well.
The region, which encompasses Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties, was reporting an average of 136 new daily cases as of Monday. That figure is one-and-a-half times higher than what the five-county area was seeing when the pandemic reached its first peak in April and May.
Both Northwest Indiana and the state have recorded a record-high number of weekly cases: 6,417 statewide and 949 in the northwest region respectively, according to the analysis.
On top of that, positivity rates for both the state overall and the region have also risen sharply.
The statewide rate, which was 7.5% on Friday, jumped a full percentage point to 8.5% as of Monday. And the rate for the northwest region, which was 7.4% on Friday, jumped to 8.6%.
The state is now reporting an average of 16.2 new cases every day per 100,000 citizens. In the northwest region, that figure is now 16.4 per 100,000 people.
Both rates have soared from last week, and now far exceed the maximum rate - 10.0 - allowed by most states, before requiring quarantine. Both rates even exceed the 15.0 threshold of Chicago's Emergency Travel Order, which mandates travelers be subjected to a 14-day quarantine.
At least some of the jump in cases can be traced to students at Indiana’s universities, where, roughly over the past month, NBC 5 Investigates has tracked nearly 6,700 new cases of coronavirus, just since students returned to campus.
In all, a total of 125,976 cases have been reported throughout the state, along with 3,454 deaths. The northwest region has seen a total of 15,894 cases and 434 deaths.