Eleven additional deaths from COVID-19 were reported Tuesday by Allen County health officials, but the deaths do not represent a sudden spike in fatalities, a county health spokeswoman said.
Megan Hubartt, spokeswoman for the Allen County Department of Health, said in an email that the new deaths, which bring the county's total to 196, arise from delays in record-keeping.
“It has to do with the variety of ways deaths get reported to different entities,” she said. “Some COVID-19-related deaths are reported directly to the Indiana State Department of Health, such as from long term care facilities; some are reported to the local health department and not to the state, such as from the county coroner or hospitals.
“Some are reported after the fact when COVID-19 is determined to be the/a cause of death by the physician completing the death record. Only a small portion are directly reported to us, so each week we reconcile our data with the state's data, and ... each of those processes can have their own timelines and delays.”
The result is “we have on rare occasions had a bigger bump in our data,” Hubartt's email said, adding that there is no backup in cases in the county coroner's office.
The rise in deaths came on a day when the county recorded an additional 55 COVID-19 cases, bringing its total to 5,697.
DeKalb County reported an additional six new cases, including that of a 1-year-old child who was reported recovering at home. DeKalb reported no new deaths.
Indiana reported an additional 758 new cases, down from several recent days when more than 1,000 new cases were added. The state's total stands at 107,229 cases.
A total of 3,235 people were reported to have died in Indiana, up 20 from Monday. An additional 225 probable COVID-19 deaths have been reported in patients without a positive test on record.
Allen County's seven-day positivity rates are 7.6% for all tests and 11.2% for unique individuals. That is higher than the state's rates of 4.8% and 6.9%, respectively.
Regionally, the highest seven-day positivity rates are in Kosciusko County, at 10.6% for all tests and 10.8% for unique individuals. Other area counties with seven-day positivity rates higher than Allen County's are DeKalb County, at 8.5% for all tests and 8% for unique individuals.
Adams County's rate for all tests stands at 7.6% for all tests and 9.6% for unique individuals, while Steuben County's rate was 9% for both.
Positivity rates between 5% and 10% are considered cautionary, with 5% considered optimal for reopening and 10% and above dangerous for spread of the virus.
At a glance
New cases in area counties, with totals in parentheses:
Adams: 4 (223)
Allen: 55 (5,697)
DeKalb: 6 (431)
Huntington: 4 (200)
Kosciusko: 3 (1,150)
LaGrange: 0 (627)
Noble: 5 (858)
Steuben: 1 (343)
Wabash: 1 (251)
Wells: 1 (235)
Whitley: 4 (241)
Sources: Indiana State Department of Health, Allen County Department of Health, DeKalb County Health Department