Pre-holiday vs. current COVID-19 case numbers
SOUTH BEND, Ind.--Heading into the Christmas and New Year’s holiday last month, health officials voiced concerns about an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations and infections. Prior to those celebrations with friends and family, the Omicron variant already accounted for a large percentage of cases.
ABC57 spoke one-on-one with the St. Joseph County Deputy Health officer, Dr. Mark Fox, before the holidays on December 22, where he told us 70% of new COVID cases in Indiana were linked to the fast-spreading Omicron variant, with thousands of Hoosiers contracting the virus.
According to the Indiana Department of Health's website, cases and hospitalizations visibly started to spike after the month of November going into the month of December. The lowest case count in the month of December before the Christmas and New Year’s holiday was at 95 on December 19, and the lowest confirmed COVID patients in hospitals at 279. The highest number of case counts we saw hit 331 on December 2, and highest in hospitalizations at 339 on December 9. On Christmas eve on December 24, there were 210 positive cases in St. Joseph County, and 279 hospitalizations.
Positive COVID infections and hospitalizations, however, while extremely high then, are even more striking now after the holidays. Back in mid-November, St. Joseph County was in the level orange category on the COVID metrics map. But, since then, St. Joseph County, among many others in Indiana sits in the red category, with cases spiking dramatically.
On Christmas day, numbers were looking low, sitting at 78 positive cases and 265 hospitalizations, since updates were put on hold because of the holiday weekend. Looking at numbers after the holiday weekend though, showed a huge spike. St. Joseph County seeing a high of 687 COVID cases as of January 7. Then, as of January 9—where the last COVID update was made on the health departments website, we are seeing 261 cases. The lowest number we saw in hospitalizations after the holidays was on December 31 at 248 cases. While hospitalizations peaked before the holidays, numbers are still high, with the largest number of COVID patients sitting at 282 as of January 7. As of just two days ago on January 9, 261 patients are being hospitalized.
Health officials are still urging community members to do their part to slow the spread by masking up, keeping your social groups small, and getting vaccinated or boosted. They warn, the worst is yet to come, if we don’t take things more seriously.