CHICAGO (CBS) — The total number of Hoosiers who have now died from COVID-19 reached 1,328 people, with about a third of those fatalities coming from residents in long-term health care facilities, heath department officials reported on Friday.
A total of 420 people living in long-term care homes have now died of COVID-19, out of 2,316 positive test cases. Currently, 173 long-term care centers in the state have at least one COVID-19 case. COVID-19 is especially lethal for older people–90 percent of Indiana deaths are patients above age 60.
In Northwest Indiana, a total of 118 people in Lake County have now died after being infected with the novel coronavirus. Only Marion County has a higher death toll, with 403. Those two counties account for 40 percent of all deaths in the state.
State health director Kristina Box on Friday released encouraging signs showing the decline of daily hospitalizations in the past month. On April 2, 167 people were admitted to the hospital for COVID-19. That daily number continued to decline all month. On May 5, 99 people were admitted.
The number of tests conducted statewide now stands at 130,128, with 23,146 people infected with the virus–a test-to-infection rate of 18 percent. In recent days, testing as fallen from the peak of 5,547 tests done last Friday. Even on the state’s best testing day, the daily testing rate of 81 people per 100,000 residents is far below the 152 per 100,000 that health officials have estimated is needed to control the spread of the virus.
This week, Indiana began reopening its economy in all but three counties, Marion, Lake and Cass.
Under Gov. Eric Holcomb’s plan, all other counties began to reopen non-essential businesses, including retail stores and malls. Restaurants, hair salons and tattoo parlors can open next week. In all cases, there are restrictions on the number of people allowed inside. The plan also urges employees to work remotely if possible. Lake County begins its initial reopening next week. Local officials are allowed to place additional restrictions, if deemed necessary.