INDIANAPOLIS — More COVID-19 patients were being treated in Indiana hospitals’ intensive care units on Thursday than at any other point in the pandemic, state health officials reported Friday.
Indiana hospitals were treating 3,077 COVID-19 patients as of Thursday – a 277 percent increase since late September, the Indiana State Department of Health said in its daily update. Of those hospitalized, 898 were in intensive care – the largest number Indiana has seen since officials began releasing counts last spring.
More than 78 percent of Indiana’s ICU beds were in use Thursday, leaving 2,153 beds available.
In District 1 – La Porte, Porter, Lake, Jasper and Newton counties – there are a total of 245 ICU beds, and more than 36 percent were in use by COVID patients, while 40 percent were filled with non-COVID patients as of Thursday. Only 23.7 percent of those beds were available.
A total of 535 COVID patients were hospitalized in the district, according to ISDH, the highest number since the start of the pandemic.
The department also reported that 6,912 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the total to 282,311. Another 63 deaths were reported, raising the toll to 4,952 confirmed and another 254 probable deaths.
Another 114 cases and 2 more deaths were reported in La Porte County, bringing the totals to 4,194 confirmed cases and 88 deaths, according to ISDH. The county’s 7-day positivity rate was 11.8 percent for all tests reported, and 19.6 percent for unique individuals tested.
Also Friday. Gov. Eric Holcomb and First Lady Janet Holcomb announced they have tested negative for COVID-19. They began quarantining Tuesday after several members of their security detail tested positive and they were determined to be close contacts of the infected individuals.
The Governor and First Lady received both an Abbott rapid test and a nasopharyngeal PCR test, and had negative results on both. They are doing well and are not experiencing symptoms, a statement from the Governor’s Office said.
Per the advice of state health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver, the Governor and First Lady will not be tested again unless they develop symptoms. They will continue their 14-day quarantine and can resume a normal schedule with vigilance about masking and social distancing on Dec. 1.
And Ancilla College in Donaldson announced Friday it will cancel in-person classes for the remainder of the fall semester after a spike of coronavirus cases among students over the past week.
Students will return home for the last seven class days of the semester, including finals week, college president Michele Dvorak said.
“To ensure the well-being of all students, faculty and staff, we have elected to have students complete the remaining nine days of the semester at home. I am confident that our efforts have prevented many from risk.
“Our decision is based on our commitment to continue to protect the well-being of all. The current number of positive cases among our student body and in our area call for these preventative measures.”
Arrangements will be made with on-campus students to check out of their rooms as quickly as possible. Spring semester begins Jan. 25, with student-athletes returning Jan. 10, pending NJCAA decisions.
Ancilla is offering testing for all students, faculty and staff prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.
The ISDH said thousands of students will be returning to their homes and it is concerned with spread in this manner. The department has provided rapid-results tests to all colleges and universities.