AUBURN — The DeKalb County Health Department on Wednesday reported one new death of a DeKalb County resident who was infected with COVID-19 and 14 new cases of COVID-19 in county residents.

The person who died was more than 60 years old. No further information about the death will be released, the department said.

A total of 72 county residents have died while positive for the coronavirus that causes COViD-19, including four so far in January.

The new cases bring the county’s total to 3,337 since the start of the pandemic and 327 in the first 13 days of January. This month’s average of 25 new cases per day is below the December average of 34 per day.

Wednesday’s new patients include none between birth and age 10; none between ages 11-20; four from 21-30 years of age; one between 31-40; one who is 41-50 years old; two who are 51-60; two who are 61-70; four who are 71-80; none who are 81-90 and none between ages 91 and 100.

It has been six days since anyone over the age of 80 has been diagnosed as a new patient.

State numbers improving

DeKalb County had the only new COVID-19 death in the four-county area reported Wednesday and came on another day of the state posting improved numbers.

The DeKalb County death was one of 59 across the state reported Wednesday, which is below the monthly average to date of about 68 deaths per day in January.

Indiana as a whole posted another lower COVID-19 case total on Wednesday, adding 3,642 new cases of COVID-19. That’s the lowest total on a Wednesday dating back to the last week of October and continues a trend this week of lower-running case totals.

The case count did come on a robust testing day of about 45,000 total tests processed, leading to a single-day positivity return of 8.1%. That’s the second consecutive positivity rating that has been below 10% and Wednesday’s one-day result was the lowest since Oct. 31.

The state has been seeing improved COVID-19 numbers recently as the state has turned a corner off peaks set in late November and early December. COVID-19 figures are still running much higher than they were before the fall surge starting in October, but have been trending downward for about the last month.

That trend of improvement continued on the hospitalization side, with the total statewide patient census for COVID-19 dropping to 2,484. It’s the first time total patient numbers have been below 2,500 since Nov. 9. Although still more than double what numbers were prior to the fall surge, patient numbers have declined about a thousand since Nov. 30.

Locally, case counts increased by smaller margins again as numbers have dropped off from higher rates at the end of 2020.

Noble County added 26 new cases, Steuben County was up 16, and LaGrange County added 10.

No other deaths were reported locally as LaGrange County remains at 61, Noble County at 56 and Steuben County at 40 all-time.

All four counties did receive red ratings in this week’s COVID-19 county metrics ratings, as positivity rates in the region remain high over 15%.

It was the first week Noble County has been red, joining its neighbors which have all spent most of the last two and a half months in that worst rating.

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