Indiana set a single-day record for the number of COVID-19 cases at 996, topping the previous high set in late April. The state has recorded more than 900 cases on three of the last six days. Indiana State Department of Health image
Indiana set a single-day record for the number of COVID-19 cases at 996, topping the previous high set in late April. The state has recorded more than 900 cases on three of the last six days. Indiana State Department of Health image
INDIANAPOLIS — On Friday, Indiana reported the highest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Indiana added 996 new cases of COVID-19 as of Friday’s report, topping the previous all-time high of 949 cases set back on April 27.

The new single-day record didn’t come out of the blue, however, as it represented the third time cases had been above 900 in the last six days.

Statewide COVID-19 numbers have been on the increase since the end of June, when cases, positivity and hospitalizations all hit all-time low points. That trend changed, however and the state has seen sharply rising numbers of cases similar to the early days of the pandemic, while hospitalizations have ticked up about 200 over previous numbers.

New deaths remains about the only metric at this time that hasn’t take a definitive turn upward. On Friday, the state reported just four new deaths, although that followed three straight days of double-digit death counts uncharacteristic of recent weeks.

State health officials warned that deaths are a “lagging indicator,” suggesting that they typically follow a week or two after rises in new infections and hospitalizations.

Whether that actually occurs is yet to be seen. On trend in new infections is that more young people are testing positive, but younger Hoosiers usually recovery and have death rates sub-1%.

Indiana has gained control over nursing home outbreaks since April, which is where the state saw more than half of its total deaths so far in the pandemic. As efforts to keep the virus out of those communal settings have worked, Indiana’s death rate has fallen off substantially.

State officials express concerns that more transmission in the general population increases the risk of the virus re-entering congregate facilities like nursing homes, jails and state prisons, where they can quickly spread from person to person.

In late June, Indiana was averaging as little as 350 new cases per day, but the state’s seven-day moving average has now climbed to 830.

The state’s hospital census also continues to run high. Once at a low point of 595 patients just under a month ago on June 26, the most recent number shows 850 people in care.

Rising cases, positivity and hospitalizations were all reasons why Gov. Eric Holcomb first decided to slow, then pause the state’s reopening and the continued rise in the numbers led the governor to announced a statewide mask mandate that will go into effect Monday.

Locally, cases have started to rise a little quicker in the four-county area, with the two counties that are usually the slowest posting larger increases on Friday.

DeKalb County reported nine new cases of COVID-19, while Steuben County added 13 more. Noble and LaGrange counties, which each have had about three times as many cases as their eastern neighbors all-time, had increases of three and four cases, respectively, on Friday.

No new deaths have been reported in the area, with Noble County remaining at 28 overall, LaGrange at 10, DeKalb at four and Steuben at three.
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