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Data Deep Dive | Hospitalizations hit record highs

First case counts rise then hospitalizations before deaths follow. The FOCUS team shows the shocking increase in COVID patients in our hospitals.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For weeks we've watched as COVID cases have surged across the country and here at home.

Experts warned hospitalizations to follow case trends.

That trend is true in Kentucky and Indiana.

Our FOCUS team has been keeping an eye on the data and we have some graphs to track this increase.

First, here's a look at the growth in cases reported by day.

Credit: FOCUS Investigates

From the left to right, cases reported by day increase driving that dotted trend line upward. 

Saturday, Kentucky hit a new record for most cases reported in a single day, more than 1,700 positive cases.

You can see that bar on the far right towering above the rest. 

We do want to point out, the other bar you see rising above the rest in early October was a backlog spanning several days. 

If you subtract the backlog of cases reported that day, there were only about 900 cases that day.

Now, let's take a look at the hospitalizations. 

Credit: FOCUS Investigates

A record-breaking number of patients are in hospitals across Kentucky; that's the blue line.

From left to right, you can see the number of patients rises. 

That increase keeping pace, trailing case trends we've charted.

A record number of Kentuckians are also fighting to survive in intensive care beds. 

On Monday more than 250 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU.


Here's a look at Indiana. 

Credit: FOCUS Investigates

Again, you can really see that dotted trend line take a swift trip upward in October. 

Most people positive for the virus overcome the illness but it can take days or weeks. 

Eventually, about 11% of those that test positive in Indiana need hospital treatment, according to the Regenstrief Institute. 

That is why we see hospital trends trial case counts.

This graph breaks down the change in COVID-19 patients since June. 

Credit: FOCUS Investigates

Indiana has some different hospitalization data available but the trends are similar.

A huge number of Hoosiers are fighting for their lives.

The blue line shows the number of COVID patients in ICU beds.

The orange line shows the number of patients on ventilators.


A bit of good news, counting non-COVID patients, there are still plenty of open beds, for now.

In Kentucky, as of October 20th, there are 3,854 beds open; 275 of those beds are intensive care beds, according to Kentucky Hospital Association

About 33% of the ICU beds are open in Indiana and 78% of ventilators are free, according to the Indiana Department of Health. 

However, if case counts continue to increase at this pace, we could see healthcare resources dwindle to dangerous levels.

As always, we'll be keeping an eye on these trends.