January 25, 2022

Indiana surpasses 20,000 dead, reporting 1,000 deaths in just two weeks

Three days in January so far have reported more than 70 total deaths. - (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Three days in January so far have reported more than 70 total deaths.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Indiana added 1,000 new confirmed COVID-19 deaths to its total in just two weeks, pushing the state past another grim milestone: 20,000 dead. 

With updated data late Monday, the Indiana Department of Health brought its confirmed COVID-19 deaths total to 20,033. Tuesday’s update brought the total to 20,167. For context, that’s larger than the population of 20 counties in Indiana.

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 a brief reprieve from the state’s late-sumer delta surge, November 2021’s average was 28.8 deaths per day. December 2021 climbed to 54.6. January, so far, stands at 52.6 deaths per day – a number which is still growing as it takes a little longer to report confirmed deaths. 

IDOH has added 524 confirmed deaths to the state’s total in the last week – of which 257 were from that time period. Three days in January so far have reported more than 70 total deaths.

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 nearly 9 percent.

READ MORE: Skyrocketing omicron cases are less likely to be severe, but could still overwhelm hospitals

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Five counties reported zero deaths since the state hit its last milestone – Benton, Ohio, Perry, Spencer and Switzerland. And four counties reported more than 40 deaths in the same time period – Marion, Lake, Allen and Madison. 

But there are some early positive signs the current omicron surge is slowing: cases appear to be dropping or plateauing in almost the entire state. And the state’s COVID-19 hospital census is seeing significant drops for the first time in 2022. 

While omicron is less likely to result in severe cases, experts say the sheer quantity of new cases could still overwhelm hospitals.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.

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