Indiana COVID-19 death toll rises to 78, cases top 3,000

Thirteen more people have died in Indiana from coronavirus-related illnesses, raising the state’s virus death toll to 78 as state health officials said Thursday that more than 3,000 Hoosiers have tested positive for COVID-19.

Indiana’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, grew by 474 to 3,039, the Indiana State Department of Health said. Just eight of Indiana’s 92 counties have yet to report a positive test.

At least 16,285 people in Indiana have been tested, the Health Department said, noting that number is provisional and reflects only the number of tests that have been reported to the department.

The number of reported tests is a notable increase from prior days. The Associated Press reported Wednesday the state has increased its ability to test people but continues to target certain patients because of limited supplies. As of Wednesday, 14,375 tests had been reported to the agency, up from 13,373 on Tuesday.

Pregnant women and certain high-risk individuals such as those with high blood pressure are given top priority for testing, Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said Wednesday during state officials’ daily news briefing on the pandemic.

Marion County, the home of Indianapolis, had 187 of the state’s new coronavirus cases reported Thursday, with 1,304 cases alone in Marion County. A total of 24 people have died from the virus in Marion County.

Deaths also have been reported in these counties: Allen (2), Clark (1), Dearborn (1), Decatur (3), Delaware (1), Elkhart (3), Fayette (2), Fountain (1), Franklin (6), Hamilton (4), Hancock (2), Hendricks (1), Howard (2), Huntington (1), Jasper (1), Johnson (3), Lake (6), LaPorte (1), Lawrence (1), Madison (3), Morgan (1), Putnam (1), Ripley (1), St. Joseph (1), Scott (1), Tippecanoe (1), Vigo (2) and Warren (1).

Every county in the Indianapolis area has at least 24 positive cases: Hamilton (207), Johnson (126), Hendricks (116), Boone (32), Hancock (37), Madison (62), Morgan (48) and Shelby (24).

Outside central Indiana, counties with 24 or more cases include Lake (215), St. Joseph (65), Decatur (59), Clark (49), Allen (46), Franklin (45), Ripley (39), Monroe (36), Porter (35), Floyd (34), Elkhart (27), Delaware (25) and Howard (24).

The Indiana statistics bear out what national health experts have advised: the virus is deadliest among older populations, but known cases are spread throughout all age groups. Almost 88% of Hoosiers who have died have been 60 or older, and just 1.6% of the fatalities have been among people younger than 50. Meanwhile, those younger than 60 comprise more than 62% of known cases.

The data also show the virus is deadlier among older men. The Health Department reports 52.2% of those testing positive for COVID-19 are women, but 62.3% of the fatalities are men.

The Indiana Department of Health is providing daily updates online. 

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are among those particularly susceptible to more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.

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