INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Nearly a quarter of Indiana’s counties are now listed in the highest-risk category of coronavirus spread as Wednesday’s update from the state health department showed a 60% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in just two weeks.
Health officials also reported 60 more coronavirus deaths, with those added to Sunday’s total making it Indiana’s single deadliest COVID-19 day since the pandemic first hit the state in March.
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The health department listed 21 of Indiana’s 92 counties in the highest of its four risk levels for coronavirus spread, up from nine counties in the red level last week.
Those additional red-level counties include northwestern Indiana’s Lake County, the state’s second most populous, and Fort Wayne’s Allen County.
Other counties in northeastern Indiana that are in the red are DeKalb, LaGrange, Wells, Whitley and Steuben.
Officials listed 70 counties in the next-highest risk level and none received the lowest-level blue rating.
Gov. Eric Holcomb went into quarantine Tuesday after possible coronavirus exposure but was scheduled to take part by phone in a Wednesday afternoon COVID-19 briefing with some hospital executives from around the state.
Holcomb cited concerns about the steep increase in COVID-19 patients straining hospital capacity as he announced last week the reinstatement of crowd limits based on county risk levels.
Indiana hospitals were treating 3,040 COVID-19 patients as of Tuesday — a nearly 300% increase since Holcomb announced in late September an end to nearly all statewide business and crowd restrictions.
Indiana had at least 52 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, pushing it past the previous high of 50 during the state’s initial surge of cases in April.