Indianapolis keeping tougher virus restrictions in place

Indianapolis officials have decided to keep the city’s stay-at-home order and restrictions on nonessential businesses in place through at least next week even as statewide rules aimed at slowing the coronavirus spread have been eased.

Posted: May 7, 2020 8:46 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis officials have decided to keep the city’s stay-at-home order and restrictions on nonessential businesses in place through at least next week even as statewide rules aimed at slowing the coronavirus spread have been eased.

Indiana’s top health official said Wednesday that the poor health conditions for many residents have likely added to the state’s coronavirus death toll, which has reached nearly 1,400 people in less than two months.

INDIANAPOLIS ORDER

The governor’s new statewide order delayed any easing of Indianapolis restrictions until Monday at the earliest, but Mayor Joe Hogsett said Wednesday that the tougher city rules would continue until May 15. Hogsett cited the population density of the state’s largest city for keeping restrictions that have been relaxed in the city’s surrounding suburbs.

City officials are also continuing a ban on religious services that are being allowed beginning Friday in much of the state by Gov. Eric Holcomb’s order.

Hogsett said he knew that decision was “heartbreaking” for many people but insisted caution was needed in the state’s largest city, where state health officials have recorded at least 390 COVID-19 deaths.

A plan for starting to ease restrictions in the city should be released early next week, said Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department.

“If we do not continue to adhere to social distancing, if we do not let science and health data guide our decision making, any glimpse of reopening will not be permanent and our community members will suffer,” Caine said.

HEALTH FACTORS

Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner, cited Indiana’s high rates for smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity as factors that put people who have contracted COVID-19 infections at greater risk of severe illnesses.

Holcomb and other state officials have faced questions over his order easing business and travel restrictions across most of the state while Indiana has the country’s 11th highest per-capita coronavirus death rate. Indiana’s rate of nearly 20 deaths per 100,000 people is higher than Ohio’s rate of 10 and Kentucky’s rate of nearly six while trailing Michigan (42) and Illinois (22), according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Box said the state reopening plan was taking into consideration the higher number of cases in allowing tighter restrictions such as in Indianapolis, northwestern Indiana’s Lake County and Cass County in rural northern Indiana, which had a large outbreak that prompted the recent closing of a Tyson meatpacking plant. Officials in southern Indiana’s Monroe County have also extended the local stay-at-home order.

“That is why we are taking a measured, phased-in approach as we continue to review the data for each county every day,” Box said.

DEATH TOLL GROWS

Indiana health officials on Wednesday added 51 coronavirus deaths to the state’s death toll, raising the count of confirmed COVID-19 related deaths to 1,264 since the state’s first fatality was recorded about seven weeks ago.

Most of the newly reported COVID-19 deaths occurred Monday or Tuesday, but one dated to April 20, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

The state health department also has recorded 113 presumed deaths of people with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus. Those are deaths that state officials said doctors blame on coronavirus infections without confirmation of the illness from test results.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
Franklin292744
Perry290553
Vermillion283658
Tipton251167
Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
Unassigned0595

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