INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana couple who were married for more than three decades have died one day apart from COVID-19.

Ernest “Ronald” and Ann Wilkins, ages 66 and 59, were married for 33 years. Friends and family described their deep connection and said they had been planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, according to WRTV-TV.

Both contracted COVID-19 in December, and were hospitalized and put on ventilators. Ronald died Jan. 8 and Ann, a former Indianapolis school teacher, died the following day.

“She was deeply committed to her profession and to her fellow educators,” Indianapolis Public Schools Supt. Alessia Johnson said. “I think what she did well was sort of holding everybody to account because, at the end of the day, her goal was to make sure kids were getting served well.”

Indiana has now reported more than 590,000 coronavirus infections and nearly 9,000 deaths, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

On Monday, 2,548 additional Hoosiers were diagnosed, bringing the total to 592,709. Another 30 deaths were reported, raising the toll to 8,966 confirmed and 374 probable deaths.

There were 55 cases reported in La Porte County on Monday, raising the totals to 8,825 infected and 155 dead, according to ISDH.

On Sunday, the state reported 3,228 cases and 24 deaths, including 50 cases and 2 deaths in the county. On Saturday, 3,973 cases and 41 deaths were reported, including 58 cases in the county.

As of Monday, nearly 303,000 Hoosiers have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 64,000 have been fully vaccinated.

Indiana residents 70 and older, along with healthcare workers, long-term care residents and first responders are now eligible to receive a free vaccine. To schedule an appointment, visit ourshot.in .gov or call 211.

Additional locations and appointments are being added as more vaccine becomes available, according to ISDH.

State and local healthcare providers are also calling for patience in the wake of the high demand for the vaccine, which has led to long waits on the phone line and periodic down time on the website.

In a statement Friday, Franciscan Alliance said it “recognizes the need to protect elderly Indiana populations at higher risk of developing COVID-19 infections.

“We kindly ask for patience as the state works to make additional vaccination appointments available in the online scheduling system. Using the online scheduling system prevents long on-site wait times to receive your vaccination.

“Our goal as a health system is to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to as many people as we can in a safe and efficient manner. Franciscan Alliance is proud to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations to the public based on risk for exposure and potential for hospitalization.”

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