INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana health officials Tuesday added 27 more coronavirus-related deaths to the state's pandemic toll as the state's COVID-19 hospitalizations and rates of new infections continue sharp increases.
The 1,288 COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Monday marked the ninth straight day topping 1,000 after not reaching that high since the end of May, the Indiana State Department of Health reported.
Such hospitalizations have grown 70% in the past three weeks, which is when Gov. Eric Holcomb decided to lift nearly all of Indiana's restrictions on businesses and crowd sizes that he had imposed to slow the coronavirus spread while keeping the statewide mask mandate.
An additional 1,569 Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at state and private laboratories, state officials said Tuesday.
In Allen County, 81 additional residents have tested posted for COVID-19, brining the total to 7,240. One new death was reported, for a total of 213.
The DeKalb County Health Department reported 10 new cases for a total of 634. Deaths in the county remained at 16.
The newly recorded deaths raise the state's death toll to 3,822, including confirmed and presumed coronavirus cases, according to the health department. That's an increase of 111 deaths in the past week.
The health department's daily update showed Indiana's seven-day rolling average of new confirmed COVID-19 infections continued growing at record levels, reaching 1,601 as of Sunday. That's a 90% increase from three weeks earlier.
Holcomb faces a decision this week on extending the mask order, which is set to expire Saturday.
Holcomb has defended his decision to lift most restrictions, urging residents to continue taking precautions and that the COVID-19 spread is being monitored daily.
Democratic governor candidate Woody Myers, a former state health commissioner, said Friday that tougher restrictions needed to be reinstated and that Holcomb's steps have the state moving “in the wrong direction.”
At a glance
New cases in area counties (with totals in parenthesis):
Adams 17 (400)
Allen 81 (7,240)
DeKalb 10 (634)
Huntington 8 (337)
Kosciusko 14 (1,537)
LaGrange 3 (723)
Noble 11 (1,028)
Steuben 21 (531)
Wabash 5 (326)
Wells 6 (339)
Whitley 2 (375)
Sources: Indiana State Department of Health, Allen County Department of Health, DeKalb County Health Department
Area school goes virtual for week
Hamilton Community Schools announced it will move to eLearning/virtual learning for the remainder of the week. Fall break is next week. Students will return to school Oct. 26, when extracurricular activities will resume. Hamilton was notified Monday evening a second grade student tested positive. "We also currently have multiple students and several teachers on quarantine because of contact with an individual outside of the school day that was not in our control," Superintendent Tony Cassel said. - Journal Gazette