Vanderburgh County reaches grim milestone with 500th COVID-19 death, falls into the 'red'

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Vanderburgh County reached a grim milestone Wednesday with its 500th reported death in the COVID-19 pandemic since the first occurred April 6 of last year.

The county also fell along with Warrick and Posey counties into "red," the highest level of severity on Indiana's COVID-19 severity map. It indicates the coronavirus has been doing damage for awhile, as the severity map draws from testing positivity rate data that is nine to 15 days old.

More: COVID-19 trends 'definitely alarming' in Tri-State, even without omicron variant

More current data shows COVID-19 case growth has exploded in Vanderburgh County since the final week of October, more than tripling in that time. Last week's reported 742 cases locally was a 242% increase over the number posted Oct. 25-31.

Vanderburgh County's seven-day positivity rate has hovered just below or surpassed 16% in the days leading up to Dec. 3, the most recent data available. In the final week of August, when the county recorded a peak of 1,302 cases in the delta variant-fueled surge, it never got as high as 13%.

COVID-19 cases in Evansville-area counties

Overall tallies as of Wednesday:

  • Vanderburgh County has reported 35,153 COVID-19 cases in all during the pandemic and 500 deaths.

  • Warrick County has reported 12,436 COVID-19 cases in all during the pandemic and 193 deaths.

  • Gibson County has reported 7,238 COVID-19 cases in all during the pandemic and 119 deaths.

  • Posey County has reported 4,168 COVID-19 cases in all during the pandemic and 44 deaths.

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Deaconess Health System reported new data Wednesday illustrating both a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations and that COVID-19 continues to strike unvaccinated individuals the hardest.

Deaconess reported 65 hospitalized COVID-19 patients as of a week ago. On Wednesday the number was 91. Of those 91 hospitalized patients, Deaconess reported 78% are "not vaccinated." There are 38 infected patients in the ICU at Deaconess, the local health system reported. All but four are unvaccinated.

Twenty-two coronavirus patients are on ventilators, Deaconess reported — 21 of them unvaccinated.

The numbers include all Deaconess hospitals and The Women's Hospital.

Ascension St. Vincent Evansville hasn't regularly released patient vaccination data, but the data it has released some similar trends.

Thomas B. Langhorne can be reached by email at

This article originally appeared on Evansville Courier & Press: Evansville COVID update: Cases, deaths, fall into the 'red' zone