Indiana’s latest surge in COVID-19 infections has pushed hospitalizations and intensive care unit treatments for the illness to levels last seen in January.
The state health department on Tuesday also reported 57 coronavirus deaths over the past week, including 20 on Saturday and 17 on Sunday. The new deaths raised Indiana's pandemic toll to 14,320, including confirmed and presumed coronavirus infections.
Indiana hospitals were treating 1,956 patients for COVID19 as of Monday — a nearly 30% jump in one week and up almost five times for the state’s level of about 400 patients a day six weeks ago in early July.
Hospitals reported treating about 500 people in intensive care units, taking up 23% of available ICU beds, compared to about 65 patients in 3% of ICU space in early July.
The Indiana Hospital Association said last week that the dramatic increase in hospitalizations was straining health care workers and causing some hospitals to reschedule non-emergency surgeries.
The hospital association urged greater COVID-19 vaccinations, saying 98% of coronavirus-related hospitalizations since January have been unvaccinated patients. About 46% of Indiana residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the 16th lowest rate among the states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Indiana’s latest COVID-19 deaths push the state’s seven-day rolling average to 15 fatalities a day. That’s up from two a day in mid-July and the highest since February when Indiana was declining from its pandemic peak of about 100 daily deaths in December.