EVANSVILLE — After a record high set Friday with 177 cases, Vanderburgh County reported 83 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Indiana State Department of Health's dashboard of cases.

Vanderburgh County now has a total of 7,241 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, since the first known case emerged on March 19.

There were no new deaths reported in Vanderburgh, Warrick, Posey and Gibson counties.

On Friday Vanderburgh County Health Department Administrator Joe Gries said officials were not aware of any one "super spreader" event or gathering that could be responsible for the dramatic surge in cases although he pointed out that Halloween a week ago could be contributing to the increase.

The state of Indiana reported 5,007 new cases and 43 new deaths Saturday bringing the statewide total to 205,722 positive cases since March 6. There have now been 4,348 total deaths, according to the ISDH.

Warrick County added 26 new cases for a total of 2,423; Posey County added 3 for a total of 922; and Gibson County added 28 for a total of 1,178.

Among other Southwestern Indiana counties, only Perry County reported another COVID-19 related death Saturday.

In Southwestern Indiana, 29.0% of hospital ICU beds were reported to be occupied by COVID-19 patients. The ISDH's dashboard shows the multi-county District 10, where Vanderburgh and Warrick are the most populous counties, now has 20.3% of ICU beds available. Statewide, 25.7% of ICU beds are being used for COVID-19 while 28.1% are available.

Hospital leaders have expressed concern about hospital capacity in the area. The concern raised by many health officials is that once flu hits full force, these numbers will grow even higher.

Dr. Gina Huhnke, medical director for the emergency departments and director of medical affairs at Deaconess, said they are seeing an increase in COVID cases.

ISDH updates its color-coded county-by-county rating system for quantifying risk weekly, most recently on Wednesday. The latest update placed Southwestern Indiana counties in orange on the map.

The system is intended in part as a guide for school leaders on whether to keep students in classrooms. ISDH assigns counties scores based on the number of new cases per 100,000 residents and the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests.

Each county is designated a color, given the average of those numbers. The colors range from blue — least community spread — to yellow, orange and red for greater spread.

Vanderburgh, Posey, Gibson, Spencer, Perry and Pike counties are in "orange" on the state's risk map for the rate at which COVID-19 is spreading. Warrick County is "yellow." Dubois County moved into the "red" with 449 weekly cases per 100,000 residents.

A total of 58,372 individuals in Vanderburgh County have been tested for COVID-19 since March 11, with 103,504 total tests administered. The number of cases in the 20-29 age group remains the largest demographic of COVID-19 cases, with 21.9% on Saturday.

The school-age demographic of children age 0-19 was at 13.7% of all cases locally. That number remains slightly higher than the state's proportion of cases in the 0-19 age bracket at 13.4%.

The ISDH dashboard offers four separate figures for positivity rates. The "unique individuals" positivity rate for Vanderburgh Saturday was 12.3% cumulatively and the seven-day rate, covering Oct. 25-31, was 18.1%.

The "all tests" positivity rate was 4.9% cumulatively and 5.6% over the same seven-day period.

The ISDH updates its online dashboard of COVID-19 data daily, including deaths, as it tracks the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
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