INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana had a slight dip in COVID-19 hospitalizations, but intensive care units are still stressed by the current 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 on 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 percent of the available beds in the state's ICUs, which were at 82 percent 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, which are 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 county, northern Indiana's Porter County, was in the lower-level yellow category. For the fourth week in a row, no counties were placed in the lowest-level rating, blue.
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 percent 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, meanwhile, said 98 percent of Indiana's recent COVID-19 hospitalizations were for unvaccinated people.
Casey Smith is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.