INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana hospitals are reporting a record number of COVID-19 patients as the highly contagious omicron variant continues driving a statewide surge, the state’s latest coronavirus update shows.
Indiana’s COVID-19 hospitalizations reached 3,467 on Monday, eclipsing the previous pandemic peak of 3,460 the state set on Nov. 30, 2020, according to an update posted Tuesday on the Indiana State Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard.
COVID-19 patients occupied 38.4 percent of Indiana’s intensive care unit beds Monday and the state had only 10.6 percent of its ICU beds available overall.
In District 1, which includes La Porte, Porter, Lake, Jasper and Newton counties, only 5.8 percent of ICU beds were available, with 36.3 percent in use by COVID patients as of Tuesday, according to ISDH.
There were 539 COVID patients being treated in district hospitals, second only to the 588 being treated on Nov. 30, 2020.
Indiana also reported 11,932 new COVID-19 cases and 23 new deaths on Tuesday as the omicron variant continues spreading.
La Porte County remains in the most-dangerous red level on the state map of virus spread threat risk, which was updated Wednesday. Of the 92 counties in Indiana, 81 are now in red, including all of northern Indiana. The 11 others are in the next-riskiest orange category.
La Porte County had 1,538 new cases per 100,000 residents last week, and an all-test positivity rate of 30.47 percent and rising, according to ISDH.
The county also had 171 new cases reported Wednesday, bringing the pandemic totals to 21,974 infected and 301 dead, according to ISDH.
According to La Porte County Health Department statistics, the county has had 22,483 total cases and 298 deaths.
Brian Tabor, president of the Indiana Hospital Association, said the surge in COVID-19 patients, combined with non-COVID-19 patients who delayed treatment earlier in the pandemic but are now seeking care, has created a “crisis” for Indiana’s hospitals.
“Indiana hospitals are overwhelmed with the highest number of patients on record and have reached a state of crisis with dwindling capacity left to care for patients,” he said.
Tabor said Indiana’s emergency departments are seeing between 8,500 and 10,000 visits per day, and at any given time, several hundred patients are waiting in ERs for hospital beds to open up.
With hospital patient volumes expected to climb for the next couple of weeks, he urged Hoosiers to seek COVID-19 tests, not at hospital emergency rooms but at primary care sites including physician offices and urgent care centers.