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Indiana virus spread stays high while hospitalizations dip

Despite a slight dip in statewide hospitalizations for COVID-19, more Indiana counties are labeled high risk for virus spread, and intensive care units are still stressed by a surge in cases.

Posted: Sep 23, 2021 8:24 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Despite a slight dip in statewide hospitalizations for COVID-19, more Indiana counties are labeled high risk for virus spread, and intensive care units are still stressed by a surge in cases.

Nearly all Indiana counties remain in the higher risk categories for COVID-19 spread on the state Health Department’s risk ratings. The ratings, which are updated every Wednesday, placed 25 of Indiana’s 92 counties in the highest-risk red category, which was three more than last week and the most since mid-January.

Sixty-six counties received the next-highest rating, orange. Only one county, Tippecanoe, was in the lower-level yellow category. For the fifth straight week, no counties were in the lowest-level rating, blue.

Last month, when the highly contagious delta variant was still getting a foothold in the state, just one county was listed as red and 62 had yellow or blue ratings.

Indiana had 2,436 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday, 251 fewer than the latest peak two weeks ago but still nearly double the number of mid-August and a level not seen since January, according to state health data.

Meanwhile, 685 COVID-19 patients were being treated in intensive care units, accounting for 30.8% of the available beds in the state’s ICUs, which were at nearly 82% capacity. Over the course of the last two weeks, ICU admission rates have reached the highest levels recorded this year.

Indiana Hospital Association President Brian Tabor said Wednesday that while it's “encouraging” to see COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations begin to stabilize, the delta variant still poses a risk to “too many Hoosiers."

That’s caused some Indiana hospitals to delay certain non-emergency surgeries, while others are diverting ambulances away from their emergency rooms and intensive care units.

“The ongoing effects of the pandemic continue to weigh heavily on hospital capacity and staff, and we are approaching flu season when demand for a hospital bed is highest,” Tabor said. “Increasing Indiana’s vaccination rate is the most effective way to ease burden on our frontline caregivers and ensure access for every Hoosier.”

About 55% of Indiana residents were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Wednesday, which was the 15th-lowest rate among the states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State health officials said 98% of people who were recently hospitalized in Indiana for COVID-19 were not vaccinated.

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Casey Smith is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 994079

Reported Deaths: 16225
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1340942097
Lake657221150
Allen57000791
Hamilton45877460
St. Joseph43856606
Elkhart35467502
Vanderburgh31922473
Tippecanoe27644256
Johnson24778440
Hendricks23603353
Porter22676362
Madison18488404
Clark18336248
Vigo17227300
Monroe15089197
LaPorte14957249
Delaware14916255
Howard14547286
Kosciusko12115147
Hancock11562175
Bartholomew11413179
Warrick11205188
Floyd10966214
Wayne10812247
Grant9850216
Morgan9346176
Boone8793115
Dubois8194129
Dearborn813092
Henry8098149
Noble7911105
Marshall7767134
Cass7451119
Lawrence7368168
Shelby7085114
Jackson689887
Gibson6468113
Harrison639691
Huntington628799
Knox6262105
DeKalb621796
Montgomery6166109
Miami584894
Putnam572177
Clinton564571
Whitley556355
Steuben548772
Wabash5229101
Jasper517675
Jefferson504095
Ripley491684
Adams471373
Daviess4586112
Scott432968
Greene420496
Wells418087
Clay417060
White413461
Decatur4104101
Fayette401286
Jennings382060
Posey373643
Washington351048
LaGrange350978
Randolph339399
Spencer335842
Fountain331058
Sullivan326352
Starke309968
Owen309369
Fulton303166
Orange289762
Jay277144
Perry263552
Franklin261642
Carroll257632
Rush256732
Vermillion253554
Parke229126
Pike227143
Tipton224959
Blackford187040
Pulaski180354
Crawford157522
Newton155148
Benton150117
Brown142747
Martin137119
Switzerland133411
Warren119916
Union106315
Ohio83912
Unassigned0531

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