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COVID-19 Vaccinations Continue In Tipp. Co. As Death Count Continues To Rise


Tippecanoe County remained in the state’s orange COVID-19 category Wednesday -- as each of its surrounding counties hit red and as COVID deaths at area hospitals continued to rise -- amidst the ongoing local rollout of the coronavirus vaccine. 

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 121 confirmed cases, three deaths, and a testing positivity rate of 12.8% for Tippecanoe County in its Wednesday update. Tippecanoe County Health Officer Dr. Jeremy Adler attributed lower recent case counts to lower testing numbers, pointing to the continuing community spread of the virus shown by the county’s positivity rate. 

“We expect cases to increase in the coming weeks due to holiday gatherings and travel,” Adler said. “This increase could be large and lead to another surge, further straining our hospitals and leading to more deaths.”

As of Wednesday, 83 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 had been reported in Tippecanoe County. 

“For the first six months of the pandemic, we were experiencing a COVID-related death every two weeks,” said IU Health Arnett Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Bien. “So from March through October, we had one COVID death at Arnett hospital every two weeks. In November, we had a COVID death every two and-a-half days. And in the month of December, we are having a COVID death nearly every day.” 

Adler said vaccinations for healthcare workers would expand to include outpatient healthcare providers and dentists next week. Inoculations for long-term care facilities began statewide this week. The county health department’s vaccination clinic is expected to open in mid-to-late January for high-risk individuals and essential workers. 

Adler said vaccinations for the general public will likely occur in spring or summer. The Indiana State Department of Health plans to provide a statewide vaccination dashboard to show how many Hoosiers have been vaccinated.