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.

Confirmed Cases: 72254

Reported Deaths: 3023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15503725
Lake7447274
Elkhart476082
Allen3789161
St. Joseph337381
Hamilton2668105
Vanderburgh188813
Hendricks1833106
Cass17749
Johnson1719118
Porter126639
Clark117846
Tippecanoe117711
Madison91565
LaPorte88330
Howard87265
Kosciusko84012
Marshall77122
Bartholomew76647
Floyd76045
Monroe72230
Delaware70152
Dubois67612
Boone66246
Noble65929
Hancock64138
Vigo58610
Jackson5725
Warrick57030
LaGrange55610
Shelby54227
Grant52130
Dearborn49328
Morgan45934
Clinton4093
Henry37320
Wayne35410
White35410
Montgomery34821
Lawrence33627
Decatur33232
Harrison32123
Putnam2868
Miami2672
Daviess26320
Scott26310
Greene24634
Franklin23813
Jasper2272
DeKalb2264
Jennings22012
Gibson2144
Steuben2063
Ripley1977
Fayette1837
Perry18112
Carroll1772
Starke1767
Posey1670
Orange16624
Wabash1633
Wells1622
Fulton1612
Jefferson1552
Whitley1506
Knox1490
Tipton1336
Spencer1313
Washington1311
Huntington1213
Newton11510
Randolph1154
Clay1095
Sullivan1031
Adams952
Jay860
Owen841
Pulaski761
Rush744
Brown731
Fountain682
Blackford622
Ohio624
Benton600
Pike520
Parke511
Vermillion500
Switzerland450
Crawford440
Martin430
Union370
Warren221
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