COVID-19 Update: Hospitalizations keep climbing

The long Labor Day weekend meant that on Tuesday at noon there were four days worth of fresh data updated to the state of Indiana’s COVID-19 dashboard. A note indicated hospitalization numbers for three of the days—Friday, Saturday, and Sunday—would be missing.

But Monday’s statewide hospitalization numbers came in at 2,518, which put the seven-day rolling average at 2,405. That’s the highest number since early January this year after a peak of over 3,200 in late November of 2020.

That’s consistent with the growing trend of hospitalizations in a more local area. At last Friday’s news conference of local leaders on pandemic response, Brian Shockney, who’s president of the IU Health south central region, shared a chart showing IU Health’s upward hospitalization trend.

Responding to an emailed question from The B Square earlier last week about the possibility that its current 2nd Street location might be kept open as a pandemic-only facility, after the new hospital on SR 46 is opened, an IU Health spokesperson wrote: “IU Health continues to focus on the best ways to provide care for our patients. At this time, we are not planning to keep IU Health Bloomington Hospital on 2nd Street open to provide patient care once we move to the new hospital.”

In Monroe County, the case numbers look like they might have stabilized or even started to trend downward, based on just the numbers in September. But it’s not clear if that’s a trend or just the impact of the holiday weekend, which could have affected the number of tests that were done. The preliminary testing numbers, which could increase as they are updated, are still below typical weekend numbers.

After peaking at a rolling average of 46 on Aug. 29, the daily average for Monroe County is now down about 10 points, at around 36.

For the color-coding system used by the state, which is updated every Wednesday, the drop in cases is probably enough to keep Monroe County in yellow, instead of orange, in the state’s dual-metric color-coding scheme. The four-color scheme is: blue, yellow, orange, red.

The number of cases per 100,000 residents per week for the previous week came in at 182 for Monroe which is under the 200 that would have bumped the county’s score to a 3 on the 0–3 point scale for case numbers. That means Monroe County’s case number score should be 2 for Wednesday’s color coding.

The case-number score of 2, gets averaged with the positivity rate score of 1 or possibly 0. That’s based on a countywide positivity rate that was just around the 5-percent threshold for this week’s scoring. Above 5 percent would be a 1. Less than 5 percent would be a 0. A 2 averaged with a 1 should keep Monroe County at a 1.5 overall, which translates to yellow in the color scheme.

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