The Journal Gazette
Saturday, November 21, 2020 1:00 am

Virus hospitalizations top 3,000

State sees record high, up 277% since late September

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS – More COVID-19 patients were being treated in Indiana hospitals' intensive care units Thursday than at any other point in the pandemic, state health officials reported Friday.

Indiana hospitals were treating 3,077 COVID-19 patients as of Thursday – a 277% increase since late September, the Indiana State Department of Health said in its daily statistics update. Of those hospitalized, 898 were in intensive care – the largest number Indiana has seen since officials began releasing those counts last spring, early in the pandemic.

More than 78% of Indiana's ICU beds were in use Thursday, leaving 2,153 beds available.

The health department also added 63 more coronavirus-related deaths to Indiana's pandemic toll. Indiana has recorded 5,206 coronavirus deaths, including both those with confirmed and presumed infections.

The new deaths bring the state's seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths to 43 per day. Indiana had been averaging about 10 daily deaths in late September when the current surge of new infections and hospitalizations began.

The 6,912 new coronavirus infections the health department reported Friday give Indiana more than 45,000 confirmed cases in one week's time, or about 16% of all such infections since Indiana's first case was confirmed about 81/2 months ago. The state's moving seven-day average of new infections is about seven times higher than in September, when Gov. Eric Holcomb lifted nearly all business and crowd size restrictions.

In Allen County, seven more people have died and 400 have tested positive, bringing the totals to 282 deaths and 16,244 cases

The DeKalb County Health Department reported one new death and 48 new cases, for a total of 26 deaths and 1,647 cases.

Holcomb reinstated crowd limits last week and has appealed for people to abide by the statewide mask mandate as steep increases in COVID-19 patients are straining hospitals around the state.

Holcomb and first lady Janet Holcomb announced Friday that they have tested negative for COVID-19.

The governor and first lady began quarantining Tuesday after several members of their security detail tested positive for COVID-19 and they were determined to be close contacts of the infected individuals.

The governor and first lady received both an Abbott rapid test and a nasopharyngeal PCR test, and had negative results on both.

They are doing well and are not experiencing symptoms.

On the advice of Indiana Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver, the governor and first lady will not be tested again unless they develop symptoms. They will continue their 14-day quarantine and can resume a normal schedule with vigilance about masking and social distancing on Dec. 1.

On Friday, the DeKalb County Health Department issued further restrictions and capacity limits tied to the color-coded status of the county on Indiana's COVID-19 dashboard, effective Sunday.

On Tuesday, Huntington's mayor will issue an executive order detailing further coronavirus restrictions also tied to the color-coded status.

Jim Chapman of The Journal Gazette contributed to this story.

At a glance

New COVID-19 cases and deaths in area counties:

Adams: 59 (1 death)

Allen: 400 (7)

DeKalb: 48 (1)

Huntington: 53 (2)

Kosciusko: 135

LaGrange: 20 (1)

Noble: 61

Steuben: 53

Wabash: 60 (1)

Wells: 25

Whitley: 37

Sources: Indiana State Department of Health, Allen County Department of Health, DeKalb County Health Department

Subscribe to our newsletters

* indicates required