September 16, 2021

Indiana ICUs Stressed By COVID-19 Surge Gripping The State

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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.

READ MORE: Regional IU Health President: 'We Are In Full Crisis Mode'

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.

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