Daily update Oct. 14

LaGrange County recorded its 14th COVID-19 death, the third since the start of the month, as local case counts slowed a bit.

INDIANAPOLIS — For the second straight day, LaGrange County has reported a new COVID-19 death.

The county’s 14th death showed up in Wednesday’s statewide daily report from the Indiana State Department of Health but occurred on Tuesday, according to the state.

The patient who died was another person in their 70s, according to state demographic data. To date, 10 of the 14 overall deaths have been people in their 70s, with two deaths of people in their 60s and two deaths of patients 80 or older.

The death is the third death LaGrange County has had from COVID-19 this month. The county had deaths on Oct. 3, 9 and 13.

The third death this month and second in the past week have come as LaGrange County has seen an increase in COVID-19 activity, culminating with the county earning an orange rating in the weekly county metrics report from the state. That orange rating represents moderate to high spread in the county.

After having very little COVID-19 activity across September — the county had just 51 new cases across that entire month — the county has seen more than that in the first two weeks of October, posting 76 new cases so far this month.

The deaths are occurring despite LaGrange County having few hospitalizations this month. According to data from the Regenstrief Institute, which tracks hospitalization data for the state, LaGrange County has only had five admissions to hospitals during October.

LaGrange County went through a major surge of COVID-19 activity following Memorial Day, seeing major spikes in cases and deaths during June and into early July. The county recorded eight of its deaths in the time frame between mid-June and mid-July, but afterward settled into a pattern of very low COVID-19 activity.

That’s changing now. The number of average daily cases has been on a steady incline since Sept. 21, according to the state. Although not the size of the outbreak that happened in June — when the county at one point hit a rolling average of 19 cases per day — average cases have risen from a point less than two per day to most recently eight per day.

No other deaths were reported in the area on Wednesday. Noble County remains at 33 overall, DeKalb County has lost 11 and Steuben County has recorded nine deaths.

Elsewhere around the state, Indiana saw a drop in its overall new cases on Wednesday after three consecutive days of 1,500-plus cases, but positivity still remained high on another day of below-average testing figures.

The state logged 1,165 new cases on Wednesday, making it the eighth consecutive days case counts have been above 1,100, although that represented a decrease from the previous three days all in the 1,500s and Friday and Saturday which topped 1,800 and 1,900, respectively.

The case count came on another day of lower testing, with about 19,000 tests processed. That’s below the October average of about 23,500 tests per day.

Even with the lower case count, however, positivity for the day was still at 6.1%, above the state’s benchmark goal of 5%.

Indiana has only had two days below that 5% level since Sept. 28 and had some with one-day returns that topped 8% recently.

The state logged another 14 deaths, which makes the October average so far of 14.6 deaths per day. That monthly average is higher than in September, when the state was losing 10.9 residents per day to COVID-19.

Statewide hospitalizations continue climbing, increasing again to 1,357 total admitted patients, up from 1,288 the day prior. That figure is the highest hospital census since May 13, when 1,381 were in treatment.

Locally, case counts slowed a little bit compared to recent days, but were still higher than was typical in September.

LaGrange County added 11 new cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday’s report, followed by DeKalb County with nine, Noble County with seven and Steuben County with just five after several large double-digit days on its reports.

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