With updated data from the weekend, the Indiana Department of Health brought its confirmed COVID-19 deaths total to 19,084. For context, that’s larger than the population of 17 counties in Indiana.
The state reached its most recent grim milestone in a little more than two weeks, following the state’s late winter delta surge.
State health officials say there are an additional 712 suspected COVID-19 deaths – where a test wasn’t administered but health care professionals believe the person had the virus.
Deaths in the state peaked at an average of 98 per day in December 2020. But deaths plummeted in summer 2021 to seven deaths per day. After the state’s late-summer delta surge, October 2021’s average was about 30, November was 28.7, and December 2021 has climbed to 52.5 – which is still adding deaths to its total as it takes a little longer to report confirmed deaths.
IDOH has added 651 new deaths to its total in the last week, though it's important to note only 255 occurred since Jan. 1 as a result of that delay.
These deaths still trend younger than earlier in the pandemic. Before August fewer than 3 percent of deaths were Hoosiers younger than 50. But since then, that has grown to 9 percent.
Six counties reported zero deaths since the state hit its last milestone – Warren, Martin, Switzerland, Pike, Rush and Perry.
Five counties reported more than 40 deaths in the same time period. Lake, Allen, Madison, St. Joseph and Marion – which reported 105.
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This increase in deaths is mirrored by the state’s growing COVID-19 hospital census, which is currently hovering just shy of the state’s pandemic peak from November 2020.
Experts say those hospitalizations are likely still the effect of the state’s late-winter delta surge, and not the omicron variant. Increases in hospitalizations run a few weeks behind increases in new cases, and deaths are farther behind both.