Miami County Graphic (map)

PERU — Miami County on Wednesday jumped to red status after reporting one new COVID-19 death and a more than 15% seven-day positivity rate.

In the last month, the county has seen 12 COVID deaths and 879 positive cases, according to data on the state’s COVID dashboard. Thirty-four new cases were reported Wednesday.

In total, 24 counties are now in the red, which is the state’s highest COVID advisory level.

Miami County’s jump to red status comes after commissioners voted down a mask requirement earlier this month that had been recommended by the health board.

The Miami County Board of Health in August approved an order requiring masks to be worn anywhere indoors when the county is in the red or orange advisory category, as determined by the state. Masks would not have been required if the county were in the blue status.

Under a new state law passed in May, health boards need final approval from county commissioners or city councils to approve any local health orders that are more stringent than those issued by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Commissioners voted 2-1 against the mandate, which health officials said would help slow the spread of the virus.

The seven-day average of people getting vaccinated in the county sat at 45 on Wednesday, according to the state.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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