More than 1,500 confirmed COVID-19 deaths were added to the state’s count Thursday after a year-end audit of deaths.
Indiana surpassed 11,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths with the audit. It also added 28 new suspected COVID-19 deaths – where a test wasn’t administered but health care professionals believe the person had the virus – bringing the overall total beyond 11,500.
That means the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths is larger than the population of seven Indiana counties.
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State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said the audit required matching death certificates with positive COVID-19 tests.
"Please understand that never before have local and state departments of health had to present data, in real time, before it was fully vetted," Box said.
The new data painted a bleaker picture of the exponential climb in Indiana’s death rate. From June to September, the state averaged about 12 deaths per day. It averaged more than 27 deaths per day in October, 64 in November and 94 in December.
The 302 newly reported deaths in January brought its daily average to 57 deaths per day.
Only two counties have reported fewer than 10 confirmed COVID-19 deaths: Switzerland and Union counties. Marion, Lake and Allen counties all have more than 500 confirmed deaths.