Daily update Oct. 19

LaGrange County reported its 15th COVID-19 death, while three of four counties in the northeast corner saw 20-plus new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend.

INDIANAPOLIS — LaGrange County reported its 15th death on Monday from an older case now verified by the state.

Meanwhile, new case activity remains high on a statewide level, just about mirroring the numbers from last week, suggesting another big week may be in the works.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health’s Monday report, LaGrange County recorded the additional death, which actually occurred back on Sept. 29.

Based on the timing, the death may be one of 11 patients who were added to the statewide count following additional review and verification by the state.

“Today’s deaths include 11 that were recently verified through further medical review. Those deaths occurred between 9/17 and 10/3,” a note on the state dashboard said Monday.

The state verifies deaths by cross-checking whether a deceased patient had a positive COVID-19 death associated with them and whether the disease the primary cause of death for the patient. If a death fails to meet both criteria, at best it may be listed as a “probable” death, which is not included in the official state tally.

The death is the fourth death in LaGrange County to be reported this month, although the death occurred slightly before October started.

Based on demographic information from the state department of health, the death was a person aged 80 years old or older.

To date, three deaths in LaGrange County have been in the 80-plus age range, 10 have been people in their 70s and two have been residents in their 60s.

No other deaths were reported across the four-county area. DeKalb County’s death count remains at 11 via the state despite the county health department claiming 16 COVID-19-positive patients had died in the county.

Statewide, case counts remain high for the start of the week, nearly mirroring the numbers the state saw at the beginning of last week, when Indiana went on to shatter previous all-time highs for new cases.

In Monday’s report, Indiana recorded 1,584 new cases of COVID-19. That’s the biggest total ever for a Monday, although it exceeds the previous number from last week by just 10 cases.

Sunday’s case count was 1,605 new cases, similar to the 1,570 cases reported on Sunday, Oct. 11.

The parallels between the two Sundays and Monday’s suggest that this week may follow a similar pattern to last week, when cases rose steadily as the week carried on setting new all-time one-day highs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday as cases hit nearly 2,500 in one day.

Monday’s case count came as the state tested just shy of 22,000 people for a daily positivity rate of 7.3%, still well above the 5% benchmark the state hopes to keep.

The 11 additional deaths noted by the state put Indiana at 23 newly reported deaths on Monday, following 19 deaths reported on Sunday.

Those numbers have contributed to the daily average continuing to climb in October, with the state now averaging about 17 deaths per day.

That’s now higher than the June monthly average of 16 per day, a figure set as Indiana came out of its initial surge in the spring and when deaths were high before health officials gained better control of outbreaks in nursing homes that led to big death numbers earlier in the year.

Average daily deaths were slightly below 10 in July, rose to just over 10 in August and then rose again slightly to about 11 per day in September.

The state indicated that its having issues with data reporting on hospitalizations as of Monday, so totals have not been updated. That’s another metric where Indiana has seen rapid increases in recent weeks, with 1,373 total patients hospitalized as of Sunday. That total has been a sharp increase since 759 patients were being treated back on Sept. 21.

Locally, cases have continued to rise sharply over Sunday and Monday.

Noble County charged past 1,100 cases all-time, increasing 24 cases to 1,113 overall. DeKalb County saw an increase of 25 cases over the two-day period, while Steuben County was up 20 and LaGrange County increased eight cases.

Cases continue to surge around northeast Indiana, as the average daily cases across Health District 3 have continued to rise to 197 cases per day, more than double the average of 86 per day on Oct. 1.

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