The Journal Gazette
Saturday, October 10, 2020 1:00 am

State sets 1-day COVID-19 mark – again

Cases have increased since move to Stage 5

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – A day after Indiana smashed its one-day record for new COVID-19 cases it happened again today with 1,945 Hoosiers diagnosed with the virus.

Friday's count was 1,832 individuals.

The state also has more residents hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any time since late May.

The numbers come two weeks after Gov. Eric Holcomb moved Indiana to Stage 5 – the final stage of reopening. But he and health officials are still urging Hoosiers not to get complacent.

“We are in Stage 5, but we still need to wear masks and practice social distancing so that we can stay in Stage 5. I cannot emphasize that enough,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said Wednesday. “COVID-19 isn't going away any time soon ... so let's use the tools we have right now to keep our state open.”

Saturday's update also reported 21 new deaths, for a total of 3,555.

House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta, of Fort Wayne, said flu season is also hitting at the same time. 

“What we're about to see is a perfect storm for the coronavirus to take over this state. I don't want to see that happen, and I urge Governor Holcomb to take the reins on this growing issue before it's too late,” he said. 

Friday's update included two Allen County residents dying of COVID-19 – for a total of 209. And 93 more tested positive for the novel coronavirus, also a new one-day record for Allen County. 

“It's sad to see that we currently have a governor who is more than willing to move the goal posts just to fit his personal narrative. After months of touting our state's reliance on measurable health data, Governor Holcomb now seems to ignore all of the numbers that he once claimed would drive Indiana's reopening plan,” Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane said.

“The governor has said that a positivity rate above 5% in a county should be a cause for alarm. Yet, when the entire state's positivity rate climbs above that same threshold, it's business as usual for the Holcomb administration?”

About 6% of tests reported Friday were positive when counting all tests. But that number rises to almost 15% for first-time patients.

Some people get tested repeatedly, such as those in health care, so there are two positivity rates. The seven-day average for both is rising though – currently at 5.1% for all tests and 9.3% for unique individuals.

The percentage of available ICU beds was at 30.3% on Friday – the lowest since April. That equals about 670 beds. But hospitals have the ability to add a surge capacity of hundreds more if needed.

Indiana's ventilator usage remains low.


Adams Central to go virtual

Adams Central Community Schools will convert to virtual education beginning Monday, according to the district's website.

Two students recently tested positive for the coronavirus and more than 80 students have been quarantined, officials said.

"We are all in complete agreement that our preventative next steps will be to convert to virtual education in the short term," Superintendent Joel D. Mahaffey said in a statement.

Adams Central students will begin virtual learning Monday and continue through Oct. 22. Fall break begins Oct. 23 and students will return to in-school instruction Oct. 27.

At a glance

New COVID-19 cases in area counties (with totals in parentheses):

Adams: 9 (341)

Allen: 93 (6,965)

DeKalb: 17 (599)

Huntington: 11 (316)

Kosciusko: 13 (1,448)

LaGrange: 4 (691)

Noble: 11 (981)

Steuben: 14 (465)

Wabash: 8 (304)

Wells: 7 (312)

Whitley: 4 (348)

Sources: Indiana State Department of Health, Allen County Department of Health, DeKalb County Health Department

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