Indiana health chief projects state virus peak weeks away

Indiana could be a month away from the peak of illnesses from the coronavirus outbreak, the state’s top health official said Friday as seven more virus-related deaths were reported to bring the state’s death toll to 24.

Posted: Mar 27, 2020 4:39 PM
Updated: Mar 28, 2020 10:07 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana could be a month away from the peak of illnesses from the coronavirus outbreak, the state’s top health official said Friday as seven more virus-related deaths were reported to bring the state’s death toll to 24.

Indiana has seen its number of confirmed COVID-19 cases more than double since the state health department’s Wednesday report to the 981 cases announced Friday. The number of deaths has doubled from Tuesday’s report of 12.

Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner, said the projected illness peak in Indiana is expected in mid- to late April. She said that projection was based on modeling done by state agencies and how other states have seen the illness spread.

“We are already seeing some patients sick but we’re not seeing a big uptick in EMS calls for patients with respiratory illness,” Box said. “So we still think we are a little bit in the calm before the storm, but we know that’s coming and are prepared for that.”

A statewide stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Eric Holcomb took effect Wednesday, with exemptions for essential businesses to remain open and for necessary trips for food and medicine.

COVID-19 testing has been limited around the state, but Holcomb said the locations of confirmed cases show that all parts of Indiana are seeing illnesses.

“We don’t see the peak yet, these numbers are compounding,” Holcomb said. “This is like a snowball that’s rolling downhill and getting bigger and bigger and bigger.”

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP'S PREVIOUS STORY IS BELOW.

Indiana's coronavirus cases surged by more than 300 to nearly 1,000 statewide Friday, and seven more deaths were reported, bringing the state's death toll to 24, state health officials said.

Indiana’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, grew by 338 to 981 across the state, following corrections to the previous day’s total, the Indiana State Department of Health said.

Nearly 7,000 people statewide have been tested for the coronavirus, officials said Friday, citing test results reported to the state agency, which also released its first demographic data on Indiana’s confirmed coronavirus cases.

That data shows that slightly more females than males have been infected with the virus: 52% of the cases are women. About 56% of infections are among people aged 50 and older, and about 38% are among people age 60 and older — the age group most at risk of having a severe infection.

State health officials have said they are targeting tests for those most at risk and health care workers.

Coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

The data includes no information about how many of Indiana's health care workers have been infected by the coronavirus. The department also released no demographic information about Indiana’s COVID-19 fatalities, which stood at 24 as of Friday.

On Thursday, the Indianapolis 500 joined a long list of sporting events postponed by the coronavirus. The race will take place Aug. 23, not May 24. Gov. Eric Holcomb's stay-at-home order took effect Wednesday.

Holcomb and Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner, were scheduled to deliver another coronavirus briefing Friday afternoon.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 605426

Reported Deaths: 9642
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion836221331
Lake45189680
Allen32646547
Hamilton29240315
St. Joseph27260380
Elkhart24354344
Vanderburgh19292248
Tippecanoe17905133
Johnson14974293
Porter14707168
Hendricks14295248
Madison10909220
Vigo10688179
Clark10581139
Monroe9338110
Delaware9089134
LaPorte9007162
Howard8177143
Kosciusko803182
Warrick668798
Hancock6639104
Bartholomew6443100
Floyd6377109
Wayne6106161
Grant5965115
Dubois554079
Boone549467
Morgan535595
Henry505564
Marshall502684
Cass482663
Dearborn476245
Noble471257
Jackson421947
Shelby413881
Lawrence389179
Clinton372043
Gibson369159
DeKalb345964
Harrison345644
Montgomery343354
Knox334339
Miami319844
Steuben313045
Whitley304526
Wabash301447
Adams299635
Ripley297545
Putnam294149
Huntington290659
Jasper288134
White272242
Daviess266774
Jefferson262538
Decatur246583
Fayette246348
Greene239262
Posey238128
Wells234050
LaGrange227662
Scott223439
Clay221832
Randolph212848
Jennings197736
Sullivan191133
Spencer190121
Washington183722
Fountain183127
Starke174843
Jay167022
Owen163637
Fulton163130
Orange157234
Carroll156415
Rush154418
Perry152727
Vermillion148634
Franklin147833
Tipton131832
Parke13038
Pike116226
Blackford110922
Pulaski96837
Newton90721
Brown87534
Benton86510
Crawford7929
Martin73013
Warren6777
Switzerland6575
Union6267
Ohio4867
Unassigned0375

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