ELKHART — A record number of new COVID-19 cases, 243, were reported in Elkhart County on Tuesday. The state also reported four new COVID-19 deaths among county residents.
This was the third time Elkhart County recorded more than 200 new cases in one day. The seven-day average is 193 new cases per day.
Of the 10,739 infections reported in the county since March, 3,785 were reported within the last 30 days.
In other words, 35.2 percent of Elkhart County’s cases have been recorded in a period that covers 13.2 percent of the timespan since the county’s first positive case was recorded on March 20. Regenstrief Institute estimates that 6,872 Elkhart County residents have recovered.
Data released by the Elkhart County Health Department show that the most significant infection increases last week were in zip codes 46550 (Nappanee), 46573 (Wakarusa), 46507 (Bristol), 46514 and 46517 (Elkhart).
More deaths in 2020
With the four new COVID-19 deaths reported Tuesday, Elkhart County has had 40 residents die from the virus in the last 30 days. That is a new record and translates to an average of 1.33 COVID-19 deaths per day. In a normal year, an average of five county residents dies each day.
Elkhart County has seen an uptick in total deaths in 2020. Preliminary data show that 1294 Elkhart County residents died from March through October. That is 111.6 more than the average for the same period of time between 2015 and 2019. As of Tuesday, 156 COVID-19 deaths had been reported in Elkhart County this year. 152 of them occurred between March and October, accounting for 12 percent of all Elkhart County deaths in that period.
Those 60 and older continue to be most at risk from COVID-19. In Elkhart County, 94.2 percent of COVID-19 deaths were among those who were 60 or older, while 55.1 percent were among people 80 or older. Data for underlying conditions are not made available by the Indiana State Department of Health, but experts say many of those who have died had underlying medical issues.
As of Tuesday, there were 95 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Elkhart County, which is a new record. Sixty-four were at Elkhart General and 31 were at Goshen Hospital. Both hospitals have reported that their already overworked staff members are getting infected at higher rates due to the community spread, further limiting the hospitals’ ability to care for the high number of patients.
The flu season has begun, though it is still in its early stages. The Indiana State Department of Health currently reports 63 cases and zero deaths statewide. At the same point in the 2019-2020 flu season, the state reported 48 cases and two deaths.