INDIANAPOLIS — Average daily cases of COVID-19 have nearly doubled in the last two weeks as Indiana came out of the Thanksgiving Day holiday with a sharp rises in new cases, hospital admissions and deaths.
And, locally, another six residents of the four-county area lost their lives to the virus.
Statewide virus activity is up again this past week, with the daily average over the last seven days rising to 4,816 cases per day. That’s up 41.6% in a single week.
Compared to two weeks ago, average daily cases have vaulted upward by 77.5%.
Statewide positivity rates rose to 11.4%, up from 10.7%, as even more people getting tested for the virus show positive results.
As always, rising cases lead to a rise in hospitalizations, with the statewide hospital census increasing to 2,642 people in treatment, up 31.3% from 2,012 patients last week.
Hospitalizations are now just barely behind the last peak of 2,687 hit on Sept. 13 during the previous surge, making it look like this surge is going to cruise past that pinnacle and rise to the position of the state’s second-worst surge, trailing only the November-December-January surge last year when hospitalizations hit an all-time record of 3,460 on Nov. 30, 2020.
Lastly, with highest hospitalizations, deaths are up again, too, rising to an average of 37 per day, up from 33 per day average a week ago.
Among those statewide deaths, six more occurred in the four-county area, with two each in DeKalb and Steuben counties and one each in Noble and LaGrange counties.
In DeKalb County, the two deaths take that county’s total to 109 all time. The two deaths occurred on Nov. 26 and Nov. 30 and included one patient in their 60s and one in their 70s, according to demographic information from the state.
To date, DeKalb County has had two deaths among patients in their 40s, seven deaths among people in their 50s, 12 deaths among people in their 60s, 28 deaths of patients in their 70s and 60 deaths at the 80-plus age group.
In Steuben County, the two new deaths occurred Nov. 29 and Nov. 30, taking the county to 89 deaths all time. The deceased were one person 80 or older and one person in their 70s.
Of the total deaths in Steuben County, two have been people in their 30s, one has been a person in his or her 40s, six have been people in their 50s, 19 have been people in their 60s, 27 deaths have been people in their 70s, and 34 deaths have been among those 80 and older.
In Noble County, the 123rd death since March 2020 occurred on Dec. 3 and was a person in their 40s, according to state demographic information.
To date in Noble County, three deaths have been among a resident in their 40s, seven were people in their 50s, 17 people in their 60s, 31 people in their 70s and 65 at 80 or older.
Lastly, in LaGrange County, its 91st death all time occurred on Dec. 1 and was a person in their 60s.
To date, LaGrange County has had one death among a person in their 40s, four deaths among people in their 50s, 14 deaths among people in their 60s, 26 among people in their 70s and 46 people who were 80 or older.
Indiana’s in the midst of another surge that started right around the start of November, after the state had be coming out of a surge driven by the delta variant that ran from July through mid-September. The state saw about six weeks of improvement before cases started ticking up again at the return of colder weather.
While this surge hasn’t quite taken over the title of second-worst, it’s right at the cusp and, assuming trends don’t change in the next week, is likely to surpass the late-fall numbers.
The number of new cases continues to be highly concentrated among the state’s unvaccinated population, which represents about half of the state.
Since August, around 80% of new cases are being diagnosed among the state’s unvaccinated population, with hospitalizations being about 90% or higher unvaccinated Hoosiers. The unvaccinated also account for about 80% of all deaths, despite that group generally being younger and despite younger people typically faring better against the virus as compared to the very old.
Statewide statistics continue to show that vaccinated Hoosiers are less likely to contract the virus and, if they do suffer a breakthrough case, are far less likely to be hospitalized or die from that infection as compared to rates of unvaccinated people.
About 50.8% of Indiana’s residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, making the state one of the worst in the nation.
Locally, vaccination rates are even lower than the statewide average, with Steuben County shy of 43%, DeKalb County short of 38%, Noble County at about 37% and LaGrange County a state-lowest at just over 21%.