As colder weather sets in, the state of Indiana is seeing increases in its number of new COVID cases, with those case numbers increasing by more than 50% in the last three weeks.
According to the latest numbers from the Indiana State Department of Health, the state is seeing an average of 2,401 new cases of COVID-19 per day over the last week. That represents a 50.9% increase over just three weeks ago, when the state was averaging 1,591 cases per day after a decline in figures following the delta-driven peaks of the summer.
Even with the increases, the state’s COVID numbers are still far below what they were during the height of the delta peak, when the state was averaging more than 4,000 new COVID cases per day, and below the surge the state saw in the fall and winter of 2020, when the state was seeing nearly 6,900 cases per day in the months prior to the first administered doses of a vaccine for the illness.
The state’s positivity rate has also been on a slow increase in recent weeks. After dropping to 7.3% on all individuals tested as of Oct. 25, the number has since climbed to 8.8%, and is significantly higher in several of the state’s counties.
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According to ISDH data, there are currently three counties that are under a “red” advisory level, with positivity rates and overall cases both on the rise. One of those counties is in the NBC 5 viewing area, with Newton County averaging 235 new cases of COVID-19 per every 100,000 residents, along with a positivity rate of 15.8% in the last week.
LaPorte County isn’t faring much better, with a positivity rate of 10.54% and an average of 260 new cases per 100,000 residents over the last week.
Hospitalizations and ICU usage are slowly starting to increase as well, with both figures tending to be so-called “lagging indicators” after increases in cases. As of Monday, there are 1,376 patients hospitalized because of COVID in the state of Indiana, while 15.5% of the state’s ICU beds are currently in use by COVID patients.
Both of those numbers are still below peaks hit during the delta surge in the summer, but officials will keep a close eye on both metrics as fall wraps up and as winter looms on the calendar.