By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — COVID-19 vaccine information, as well as statistics on hospitalizations among vaccinated and unvaccinated groups, was shared by a state doctor during a webinar on Thursday, Oct. 28.
Dr. Lindsay Weaver, chief medical officer with the Indiana Department of Health, was the featured speaker.
In her presentation, Weaver said hospital admissions are decreasing for both the unvaccinated and vaccinated. During the week of Sept. 19 to 25, 98% of COVID-19 hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions in the state of Indiana were unvaccinated people.
With vaccinations, currently, 56% of Hoosiers who are 12 and older are vaccinated. Weaver also said the following groups are eligible to receive their booster COVID-19 shot; the booster is administered at least six months after the second dose:
- people 65 and older;
- residents 18 and older in long-term care settings; and
- people 50-64 with underlying medical conditions
People ages 18-49 with underlying medical conditions; and those ages 18-64 at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of an occupational or institutional setting, may be eligible for booster shots as well.
Weaver also encouraged pregnant women, as well as females who may become pregnant, to get vaccinated for COVID-19. She said pregnant women are two to three times more high-risk for admittance to ICU for COVID-19.
“If you have a loved one who’s pregnant, you’re pregnant yourself or are considering being pregnant in the future, please, please get vaccinated,” said Weaver. “We’ve had several pregnant women unfortunately die. It’s so heartbreaking to see a young mother, excited and expecting a baby, to suffer from COVID.”
When asked if she expects a fourth wave of COVID-19, Weaver said the Department of Health has been closely following patterns with statewide cases. She noted there’s been about a 4 1/2 month period between Indiana’s small waves of COVID-19 cases and larger waves.
Weaver said the future is unpredictable when it comes to determining if there will be another large wave of COVID-19.
“These viruses are organisms,” said Weaver. “Their job is to survive, so they mutate. Do I expect other mutations? Probably.”
The webinar was hosted by Live Well Kosciusko, Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, K21 Health Foundation and the Kosciusko Human Resources Association.
For more information on COVID-19 resources, both locally and statewide, visit the Live Well Kosciusko website.
Weekly COVID-19 Statistics
COVID-19 cases continue to decline locally and statewide.
On last week’s Indiana Department of Health two-metric COVID-19 map, four Indiana counties were in the “red” category. Blackford County is now the only county in Indiana that is “red.” A majority of central and southern Indiana has changed to the “yellow” category. Monroe County in southern Indiana is now “blue,” the lowest category a county can be.
Most of northern Indiana, however, including Kosciusko, Marshall, Wabash, Whitley, Fulton and Elkhart counties, remain in the “orange” category.
Fulton County has stayed in the “orange” category for two weeks on the two-metric map and has moved to “orange” on the advisory level map.
IDH relies on a color-coded county map that measures percent positivity and new cases per 100,000 residents. The baseline for red is 15%.
Whitley County has reported one new COVID-19 death, which occurred on Sunday, Oct. 24. This brings the county to 56 deaths and 5,717 positive cases.
Kosciusko County has reported 12,479 positive COVID-19 cases. The county has a high community transmission rate for COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC’s website categorizes transmission rates in four levels: low, moderate, substantial and high. The map shows that all but six of Indiana’s counties are in the ‘high’ category. About 76% of the United States is marked in the ‘high’ category.
The CDC website is updated regularly and you can search for specific counties here.
More than 29,900 people in Kosciusko County have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
More than 3,359,000 Hoosiers are considered to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. According to statewide demographics, about 53% of those fully vaccinated are individuals who are 50 and older. About 53% of people fully vaccinated are female.
Statewide, the IDH website shows the number of COVID-19 deaths in Indiana rose to 16,082.
The total positive number of reported COVID-19 cases in Indiana is now at 1,014,652. More than 14,396,000 COVID-19 tests have been administered to Hoosiers.
Since the pandemic began, locally, Fulton County has reported 3,180 positive cases and Wabash County has reported 5,388 positive cases. Marshall County has reported 8,026 positive cases, Noble County has reported 8,106 positive cases and Elkhart County has 36,154.
In other northern Indiana counties, Lake County has 66,814 positive cases; Allen County has 58,487 positive cases; and St. Joseph County has 44,705 positive cases.
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, more than 741,000 people in the United States have died due to COVID-19.