After months of COVID-19 deaths slowing to a trickle, the state’s daily deaths have begun to climb alongside its late-summer spike in cases. That climb has pushed the state past another grim milestone: 14,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.
With updated death data from the weekend, the Indiana Department of Health reported 69 deaths, bringing the total to 14,049.
After reporting several days with more than 100 Hoosier deaths in December, Indiana’s daily deaths plummeted. May averaged 9.7 deaths per day, June averaged 6.4, July averaged 4.5 deaths – but with incomplete data in August, Indiana has averaged about 15 deaths per day.
It’s important to note: deaths take longer to report than cases, so this number is more than likely to rise.
That’s the highest we’ve seen since February – the tail end of Indiana’s last COVID-19 surge – with an average of 27 deaths per day.
August’s total deaths – 436 reported so far – is higher than the totals for June and July combined, by 110 deaths.
This increase in deaths follows a significant increase in statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations. On July 3, Indiana reached a pandemic-low hospital census, with 371 Hoosiers hospitalized because of COVID-19. Tuesday’s update shows that’s grown to 2,300 Hoosiers, the highest since late January.
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While there has been an increase in deaths, the vast majority are not people who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A little less than 2 percent of the deaths reported in August were identified by IDOH as breakthrough deaths.
State health officials said there are an additional 422 suspected COVID-19 deaths – where a test wasn’t administered but health care professionals believe the person had the virus.
IDOH reported 116 deaths in the last seven days.