CHICAGO (CBS) — The novel coronavirus claimed the lives of 34 more Hoosiers, rasing the state’s death toll to 173, state health officials reported on Tuesday. In Lake County, there are now 418 people with COVID-19 and 11 people have died, making it the second hardest hit area in the state.
Eleven people have died in Madison County, and all of those fatalities are from an outbreak about a week ago at the Bethany Pointe nursing care facility in Anderson. That county has reported 137 COVID-19 cases. Central Indiana, especially Indianapolis, has been at the center of the outbreak, with 2,141 cases and 48 deaths in Marion County.
In addition to Lake County, Northwest Indiana has 84 cases of COVID019 in Porter County, with no deaths. There have been three deaths out of 25 cases in LaPorte. There have been a total of 5,507 cases of COVID-19 reported in the state, but there are likey many more Hoosiers who have contracted the disease but have either not been reported yet or haven’t been tested. State officials have acknowledged that limitations on testing have been a problem.
The state health director, Kristina Box, says the number of COVID-19 deaths in about the past three weeks exceeds the average number of flu deaths over eight months in the state.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box says additional 34 Hoosiers have died – age 37 to 97.
173 Hoosiers have lost their lives to this virus.
Usually only 150 to 160 Hoosiers die because of flu in a 7 to 8 month period.
— Niki Kelly (@nkellyatJG) April 7, 2020
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb extended the state’s stay at home order through April 20. All non-essential businesses should be closed and Hoosiers should only go outside for essential needs, like food or medical care. Outdoor exercise is OK, but not in crowded areas. Any gathering of more than 10 people is prohibited. The updated state at home order closed state park campgrounds.
Holcomb also urged Hoosiers to limit the number of people in a family who shop for essential needs, and essential businesses should limit the number of customers inside. Curbside pickup and delivery are still allowed, especially for carry out food.
“Hoosiers have done a great job adapting to the new rules put in place during this public health emergency, but I believe the next two weeks to month could be the most critical for all of us,” Holcomb said on Twitter on Monday.