Daily update Sept. 16

Cases counts showed small changes in northeast Indiana on Wednesday, a day when statewide numbers were down compared to earlier in the week, too.

INDIANAPOLIS — The DeKalb County Health Department reported on Wednesday the county has suffered its 13th death from COVID-19.

According to a daily release from the health department, the patient who died was more than 70 years old.

The new death comes after DeKalb County tallied five fatalities from COVID-19 last week and as the county has seen multiple residents die over the last month.

Prior to Aug. 24, DeKalb County had recorded just four deaths total in the several months between March and that date.

The county has been battling a serious outbreak of COVID-19 at The Laurels of DeKalb nursing home in Butler, although the health department hasn’t directly confirmed that new deaths are coming from the facility.

As of the state’s long-term care dashboard on Wednesday, the state is still reporting fewer than five deaths from that facility, although that data is currently only as of Sept. 9 as the dashboard runs a week in lag.

No new deaths were reported elsewhere in the four-county area. The statewide dashboard still reflects just 10 deaths from DeKalb County, although the county health department has reported 13 overall.

Noble County has had 32 deaths to date, LaGrange County sits at 11 and Steuben County has lost seven residents since March.

Statewide cases of COVID-19 dipped again on Wednesday while positivity rates hold below the 5% mark where the state wants to see them.

Lower numbers midweek aren’t unusual for Indiana, as cases usually rise to their highest points during the Thursday/Friday/Saturday period, but a continuing low positivity rate is a good sign for the state.

As of Wednesday’s daily report from the Indiana State Department of Health, the state recorded 580 new cases of COVID-19, slightly lower than Tuesday’s total of 689.

The result did come on lower overall testing, about 14,000 compared to nearly 18,000 on Tuesday, which resulted in a higher positivity rate of 4.14%. That return rate, however, is still below the 5% threshold that state health officials say they’d like Indiana to stay under and lower than recently when daily positivity rates have been 4.5%-5% and higher.

The state logged 12 deaths on Wednesday, a second day of double-digit deaths after recording 20 in Tuesday’s report.

Locally, northeast Indiana counties saw little change in COVID-19 case numbers on Wednesday.

DeKalb County increases four cases, while Steuben and LaGrange counties each added just one new case and Noble County was unchanged.

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