INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana health officials on Tuesday added 27 more coronavirus-related deaths to the state’s pandemic toll, including the 49th death in La Porte County, as 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 percent 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 percent increase from three weeks earlier.
The ISDH reported 1,569 more Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the total to 138,104. In La Porte County, there were 25 new cases, bringing the total to 1,908.
As of late Monday, 1,503,923 unique individuals have been tested in Indiana, and 2,376,462 tests have been reported. There have been 24,700 tests reported from La Porte County, where the 7-day positivity rate was 7.3 percent for all tests, and 9.7 percent for unique individuals tested.
Holcomb faces a decision this week on extending the mask order, which is set to expire Saturday.
Holcomb told WANE-TV in Fort Wayne that he will announce a decision Wednesday on the mask mandate that he first issued in July.
The governor said one reason for the increased COVID-19 spread is people letting down their guard at gatherings such as weddings, sports events or house parties when they can be around others who are infected but might not be experiencing symptoms.
“We need to underscore the point that our actions and our inactions have consequences, whether they’re good or bad,” he said.
Democratic governor candidate Woody Myers, a former state health commissioner, said tougher restrictions needed to be reinstated and Holcomb’s steps have the state moving “in the wrong direction.”