Breaking News
More () »

Data Deep Dive: Kentucky and Indiana COVID-19 death trends may be delayed

Coronavirus cases are going up but death numbers aren't seeing the same increase. Why? We're putting that data in context and sharing expert insight.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Governor Andy Beshear announced the second-highest single-day increase in COVID 19 cases today. Indiana is seeing case numbers continue to rise as well.

But death rates aren't following the same trend. We talked to experts to find out what that means.

First, here's a look at Indiana's death trend. 

Credit: FOCUS Investigates

The Hoosier state hit an all-time high at the end of April and it been a steady decline since then.

Some experts said healthcare workers are now better equipped to handle hospitalizations. They have more experience and are waiting longer before putting a patient on a ventilator. 

Other researchers said deaths just haven't yet caught up. Since cases started spiking two weeks ago, theoretically deaths are still two weeks out because a patient may be on a ventilator for days or even weeks before succumbing to the disease. 

"Mortality or deaths are going to be a lagging or a much later indicator of what is happening with the disease. So that's really the ordering of the latency or the timeliness, that we think about tests in emergency department visits hospitalization, and then mortality," Shaun Grannis, Regenstrief Institute Vice President for Data and Analytics, explains.

That could be the case in Kentucky where you can see deaths haven't really found any kind of steady decline over the last two months.

Credit: FOCUS Investigates

The highest daily death rate was in mid-May. Since then the numbers have gone up and down.  State officials are hopeful to keep this rate at a plateau or start to decline. 

Both in Kentucky and Indiana health officials said we are still at a comfortable availability level with ventilators and hospital beds. Of course, we want to keep it that way.

We'll keep watching these trends and diving into the data.  If you have any questions or want us to dive into a particular data point, send us an email at focus@whas11.com. 

►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users. 

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed

Paid Advertisement