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Indiana lifting more virus limits on medical procedures

Indiana’s governor signed an order Friday largely lifting restrictions on elective medical procedures beginning next week. The restrictions had been imposed to help preserve equipment and protective gear for hospitals treating coronavirus patients.

Posted: Apr 24, 2020 6:49 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s governor signed an order Friday largely lifting restrictions on elective medical procedures beginning next week. The restrictions had been imposed to help preserve equipment and protective gear for hospitals treating coronavirus patients.

The state health commissioner also announced that at least 79 people died with coronavirus infection symptoms but were never tested. Those presumed COVID-19 related deaths are in addition to the state’s official total of 741 deaths involving confirmed coronavirus infections

The new medical procedure order covers providers such as surgery centers and dental, dermatology and veterinary offices, allowing them to resume those procedures as long as they have sufficient protective equipment and have adopted procedures to protect patients and staff members from COVID-19.

Gov. Eric Holcomb had already removed such restrictions on hospitals under an order that took effect Monday extending the statewide stay-at-home measures through May 1.

Holcomb has talked about easing some of the state’s business and travel restrictions next month.

Michigan’s governor has extended that state’s stay-at-home order through May 15, while the Illinois order now goes until May 30. Both governors have eased some limits on businesses and outdoor activities.

Holcomb said while he is cooperating with nearby governors on what steps to take, Indiana doesn’t have to be in “lockstep” with other states.

“We are looking globally at all of these various sectors. Everyone will not go all at once,” Holcomb said. “I suspect we will begin to continue to open up in a very responsible, safe way.”

ADDED VIRUS DEATHS

Indiana’s 79 presumed COVID-19 related deaths are in addition to 35 deaths with confirmed infections that health officials announced Friday.

The presumptive deaths involved determinations by doctors of the person’s infection by use of chest X-rays, scans, information about their symptoms and how their conditions deteriorated, said the state health commissioner, Dr. Kristina Box.

Details about when the deaths occurred weren’t immediately released. Box said the presumptive deaths wouldn’t be included in the confirmed death toll.

“These deaths gives us a better sense of the impact of COVID-19,” Box said.

Holcomb has said the easing of restrictions would depend on the state not seeing a surge in coronavirus cases cutting into the capacity of hospitals to care for patients.

The latest state statistics showed 621 COVID-19 patients were in the intensive care units of Indiana hospitals, and that 44% of ICU beds remained available.

DISINFECTANTS DISCOURAGED

Holcomb and Box both warned against anyone acting on President Donald Trump’s comment Thursday that perhaps disinfectants could be injected or ingested to fight COVID-19. His words received strong pushback from health officials and even the maker of Lysol.

Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, who joined Holcomb’s Friday briefing by video from his hometown of Jasper, suggested Trump was caught up in the “exuberance” of people across the country eager to have business and travel restrictions start being lifted.

“Sometimes when you’re not clear with how you say things, especially when you are at a high level where people watch, its best probably not to venture into areas where you may not know a lot about,” Braun said. “Here, I would defer to what the health experts would say.”

Holcomb commented with a smile: “Apply those disinfectants to surfaces, not yourself. They work.”

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1101819

Reported Deaths: 20680
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4449279243
DuPage708901168
Will59768888
Lake54700921
Kane47171705
Winnebago26766415
Madison25299477
St. Clair22976450
McHenry22214258
Champaign15867106
Peoria15466251
Sangamon14918242
McLean13564171
Tazewell12296251
Rock Island12195308
Kankakee11720187
Kendall1001681
LaSalle9791250
Macon8982182
Vermilion7784117
DeKalb767894
Adams7537129
Williamson6358119
Boone565679
Whiteside5438175
Clinton517486
Coles479085
Knox4706147
Ogle470072
Grundy453154
Effingham437372
Jackson430270
Henry410277
Marion4081113
Macoupin400996
Franklin393771
Randolph380273
Livingston379270
Monroe367371
Stephenson363977
Jefferson3557105
Woodford334470
Morgan332193
Logan316959
Montgomery315954
Lee314276
Bureau305685
Christian305678
Fayette296753
Perry279262
Fulton262549
Iroquois262458
Jersey230161
Lawrence220730
McDonough219351
Saline208754
Douglas204534
Union203632
Shelby202235
Crawford183135
Cass179431
Bond178224
Warren160344
Pike160048
Richland157146
Hancock155035
Wayne154743
Clark152934
Jo Daviess152325
Washington149326
Edgar149253
Carroll146833
Moultrie141528
Ford140651
White140232
Clay134040
Greene128243
Johnson125615
Wabash121815
Mason119541
Piatt119518
De Witt119028
Mercer118730
Cumberland111727
Massac107233
Jasper106115
Menard91610
Hamilton73117
Marshall70515
Schuyler64617
Pulaski6253
Brown62211
Stark49920
Edwards4789
Henderson46616
Calhoun4504
Scott4081
Alexander4047
Gallatin3974
Putnam3572
Hardin3128
Pope2573
Unassigned1040
Out of IL320

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376