CHICAGO (CBS) — A total of 65 people in Indiana have died from COVID-19, including six in Lake County, state health officials reported on Wednesday.
Lake County continues to rank as the second-worst in terms of COVID-19 cases (180) and deaths. The Indianapolis area accounts for 1,117 cases and 21 deaths. Hamilton County, just north of Indianapolis has 179 cases and four deaths. Officials have said that data does not accurately reflect current numbers because test results and confirming COVID-related deaths are several days behind.
At a news conference on Tuesday, state health director Kristina Box acknowledged that the state has done no modeling to determine worst or best-cases scenarios for fatalities but said she felt the surge was just beginning. Testing continues to lag in the state, with only about 50 tests done per 100,000 residents. The state reported conducting 14,375 tests in total, an increase of only 1,002 tests from the day before. While lack of tests has been a chronic problem nationwide, by comparison, Illinois has done 40,000 tests (up 5,100 from Tuesday), while Ohio has done about 30,000, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Indiana also has been unable to provide data on the number of people hospitalized due to the novel coronavirus.
As of Wednesday morning, Gov. Eric Holcomb’s “stay at home” order was still set to expire in less than a week, on April 6. Box said the state has just begun talks with the Army Corps of Engineers to determine site locations for field hospitals, should they become necessary. By contrast, Illinois extended its stay at home order to the end of the month and is building a large field hospital at McCormick Place to treat patients.
Indiana schools remain closed until May 1, and Holcomb hinted that he will provide an update later this week, possibly on Thursday.