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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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30901

Reported Deaths: 1964
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9040531
Lake3191167
Cass15796
Allen121365
St. Joseph113234
Hendricks110365
Hamilton109291
Johnson1065102
Elkhart93827
Madison57658
Bartholomew46733
Porter46521
Clark45038
LaPorte38721
Tippecanoe3563
Jackson3531
Howard34417
Delaware34027
Hancock31527
Shelby31121
Floyd31138
Boone27935
Morgan25724
Vanderburgh2402
Decatur22131
White2128
Montgomery21114
Clinton2041
Harrison18321
Grant17820
Noble17420
Dubois1712
Greene16723
Warrick16326
Dearborn16221
Monroe15810
Henry1556
Lawrence14222
Miami1351
Vigo1357
Putnam1297
Jennings1264
Orange12222
Scott1153
Ripley1126
Franklin1068
Carroll882
Daviess8116
Steuben762
Newton7210
Wabash722
Kosciusko711
Wayne665
Marshall611
LaGrange592
Washington521
Jasper521
Fayette504
Fulton461
Rush452
Jefferson411
Jay410
Clay381
Pulaski380
Randolph373
Whitley342
Brown331
Sullivan311
Starke303
Owen301
DeKalb281
Knox240
Benton240
Crawford230
Perry230
Huntington222
Tipton221
Wells220
Switzerland190
Blackford191
Fountain172
Parke170
Posey170
Spencer141
Gibson132
Ohio130
Adams121
Warren121
Martin100
Union80
Vermillion80
Pike50
Unassigned0152
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