The Journal Gazette
Thursday, September 16, 2021 1:00 am

ICUs strained despite slight dip

82% capacity in state; Indiana surpasses 15,000 deaths

CASEY SMITH | Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana had a slight dip in COVID-19 hospitalizations, but intensive care units are still stressed by the surge in cases.

There were 2,527 patients hospitalized with the disease in Indiana on Tuesday, which was the fewest in a week and 160 fewer than Monday but still nearly double the number of a month ago and a level not seen since January's peak, according to state health data.

Meanwhile, 722 COVID-19 patients were being treated in ICUs on Tuesday, accounting for 32% of the available beds in the state's ICUs, which were at 82% capacity.

With 68 new coronavirus deaths reported Tuesday, Indiana's pandemic death toll hit 15,011.

Nearly all Indiana counties are in the higher risk categories for COVID-19 spread on the state health department's risk ratings. The ratings, updated every Wednesday, placed 22 of Indiana's 92 counties in the highest-risk red category, which was one more than last week and the most since mid-January.

Sixty-seven counties received the next-highest rating, orange. Only one, Porter County, was in the lower-level yellow category. For the fourth week in a row, no counties were in the lowest-level rating, blue.

Most of the counties in northeast Indiana, including Allen County, remain in orange, according to the state's color-coded map, which was updated Wednesday. Whitley County remains in red, the most serious for COVID spread.  

Two additional Allen County residents died from COVID-19, bringing the total to 739 deaths, the local health department reported Wednesday. The number of positive cases rose to 52,554 as 248 more people tested positive for the virus. Allen County's positivity rate is at 11.34%.  

Statewide, 4,733 additional Hoosiers were diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the total number to 918,230.

A month ago, 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.

About 54% 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 recent COVID-19 hospitalizations were for unvaccinated people.

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