INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana health officials on Tuesday added 27 more coronavirus-related deaths to the state’s pandemic toll as the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and rates of new infections continue sharp increases.
The 1,288 COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Monday marked the ninth straight day topping 1,000 after not reaching that high since the end of May, the Indiana State Department of Health reported.
Such hospitalizations have grown 70% in the past three weeks, which is when Gov. Eric Holcomb decided to lift nearly all of Indiana’s restrictions on businesses and crowd sizes that he had imposed to slow the coronavirus spread while keeping the statewide mask mandate.
The newly recorded deaths raise the state’s death toll to 3,822, including confirmed and presumed coronavirus cases, according to the health department. That’s an increase of 111 deaths in the past week.
The health department’s daily update showed Indiana’s seven-day rolling average of new confirmed COVID-19 infections continued growing at record levels, reaching 1,601 as of Sunday. That’s a 90% increase from three weeks earlier.
Holcomb faces a decision this week on extending the mask order, which is set to expire Saturday.
Holcomb has defended his decision to lift most coronavirus restrictions, urging residents to continue taking precautions and that the COVID-19 spread is being monitored daily.
Democratic governor candidate Woody Myers, a former state health commissioner, said Friday that tougher restrictions needed to be reinstated and that Holcomb’s steps have the state moving “in the wrong direction.”