State reports highest number of COVID-19 cases since Friday

The Indiana State Department of Health on Thursday said the number of positive cases for COVID-19 in the state has risen to 13,039, following the emergence of 601 more cases.

The daily count is the highest since 613 new cases were reported on Friday, April 17.

The state reported 341 new cases on Wednesday, 411 on Tuesday, 476 on Monday, 569 on Sunday and 487 on Saturday.

However, the department cautioned in a tweet Wednesday that “new cases/tests reported on Tuesday and Wednesday were lower than expected due to a technology issue and should not be interpreted as a decline in new infections.” The state said the issue has been resolved.

The state said Thursday that the cumulative death toll in the state rose to 706, up from 661 the previous day — an increase of 45.

The department said this week it would now include presumptive positive deaths in its totals. Presumptive positive deaths are not necessarily verified by tests, but include deaths in which a doctor listed COVID-19 as an underlying cause.

New positive cases, deaths and tests have occurred over a range of dates but were reported to the department in the previous day.

The department reported the state’s first case on March 6.

The state reported that 72,040 people have been tested so far, up from 69,470 in Wednesday’s report — an increase of 2,570 tests.

The ISDH said the test numbers reflect only those tests reported to the department and the numbers should not be characterized as a comprehensive total.

Marion County reported 4,408 cumulative cases — up from 4,263 the previous day, an increase of 145 cases.

The state reported 228 cumulative deaths in Marion County, up from 214 in Wednesday’s report. The state said 20,355 people have been tested in the county.

As for surrounding counties, Hamilton had 645 positive cases; Johnson 478; Hendricks 565; Madison 359; Boone 172; Hancock 160; Morgan 125; and Shelby 145.

Every Indiana county has at least one case.

Elsewhere around the state, these counties have had at least 140 cases as of Thursday: Lake (1,346), St. Joseph (475), Allen (387), Cass (199), Porter (198), Elkhart (196), Clark (195), Decatur (182), Bartholomew (163), Floyd (152) and LaPorte (148).

Cases have soared recently in rural north-central Indiana’s Cass County after an outbreak of COVID-19 at a meatpacking plant in Logansport. Tyson Foods announced it will close the plant, which has been operating at reduced capacity, on Saturday.

The department said 43.3% of the state’s intensive care unit beds were still available. About 20% are being used by COVID-19 patients.

The department also said 77% of the state’s ventilators were available.

The health department is providing case updates daily at noon based on results received through 11:59 p.m. the previous day.

Health officials say Indiana has far more coronavirus cases — possibly thousands more — than those indicated by the number of tests.

As of Thursday morning, 843,981 cases had been reported in the United States, with 46,851 deaths, according to a running tally maintained by health researchers at Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. More than 77,000 people have recovered.

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