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.

Confirmed Cases: 47432

Reported Deaths: 2687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11546683
Lake5104242
Elkhart321144
Allen2737129
St. Joseph190866
Cass16389
Hamilton1538100
Hendricks1390100
Johnson1256118
Porter72037
Tippecanoe6948
Madison65564
Clark64044
Bartholomew58244
Howard56557
LaPorte56326
Kosciusko5354
Vanderburgh5026
Marshall4823
Jackson4693
Noble46928
LaGrange4677
Hancock44035
Boone43743
Delaware43150
Shelby42325
Floyd37144
Morgan32731
Montgomery29320
Grant29126
Clinton2882
Monroe27628
Dubois2666
White26010
Henry25815
Decatur24932
Lawrence24225
Vigo2318
Dearborn22823
Harrison21222
Warrick21229
Greene18532
Miami1822
Jennings17411
Putnam1688
DeKalb1604
Scott1607
Daviess14216
Orange13623
Wayne1366
Steuben1282
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Ripley1157
Jasper1142
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette987
Newton9810
Starke923
Whitley905
Randolph784
Huntington742
Jefferson722
Wells711
Fulton691
Jay680
Washington681
Gibson672
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush563
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Posey380
Blackford372
Spencer371
Crawford300
Fountain302
Tipton301
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike100
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

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