The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 4:13 pm

State seeing more deaths, fewer ICU beds

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana's surge of COVID-19 cases is now resulting in more deaths and fewer available ICU beds around the state.

Gov. Eric Holcomb also said Wednesday that new testing options will be announced soon as the system is taxed with increased demand.

Allen County added four deaths Wednesday. That is 11 so far for the month of August. In comparison, there were 26 Allen County deaths the last three months collectively. 

Allen County also reported 262 new cases. Statewide, there were 3,558 new cases and 25 new deaths.

New county metrics were also released Wednesday – showing all northeast counties except LaGrange in the orange advisory level – the second highest category of community spread.

The state also reached 1,616 COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide – about a third of the state's peak last year. Intensive care beds are filling up with the most since January. The northeast Indiana district has only 44 ICU beds left.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said staffing is even more of a problem than beds as some health care professionals have moved on.

She also noted a huge influx of cases in kids – rising from 1,500 cases in kids on July 25 to 4,200 on Aug. 8.

Micah Pollak, an Indiana University Northwest professor tracking COVID statistics, said since July 1, one in every 38 pediatric cases has required a hospitalization. That is up from one in every 51 pediatric cases over the same period in 2020.

Holcomb and Box continued to focus strongly on vaccinations being the answer – noting that about 98% of hospitalizations are unvaccinated Hoosiers.

“We know what works and that's the vaccine,” he said. “It's not just what we can do, it's what you can do to solve the problem. We need you do the right thing and that's get vaccinated.”

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