EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — As a grim reminder of the pandemic, Vanderburgh County announced its 500th COVID-19 related death.

The county’s 500th passing follows the state’s upwards trend of COVID-19 deaths, now sitting at 17,310 since the pandemic began nearly two years ago.

With more positive cases and deaths afflicting the county, Vanderburgh has dropped into the most severe advisory level, which many call the “red zone”. The advisory level refers to the current guidelines the county must follow, based off a two-week metric score.

The southern part of the state sees itself following suit, with Posey, Warrick, Spencer and Perry counties also sitting within the “red zone”.

With the Omicron variant spreading across the United States, many local lawmakers, including Gov. Beshear, are pushing for more Hoosiers to get vaccinated.

Indiana residents can schedule to get vaccinated at coronavirus.in.gov.

(File: coronavirus.in.gov)