CHICAGO (CBS) — Indiana reported 640 new cases on COVID-19 on Thursday, essentially matching many of the highest daily case numbers so far this month.
The highest single day of the month was May 5 with 838 cases. Three other days this month had slightly more cases: May 7 and May 15 (641) and May 20 (658). The numbers come about a week after the state further eased restrictions imposed in March to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Lake County joins most of the state’s re-opening timeline on Monday. Those new rules include higher capacity of customers in retail stores and the opening of fitness centers. Gov. Eric Holcomb has said officials expected more cases as testing increased and more people returned to normal activities. One of the key benchmarks for easing restrictions is the ability to treat patients in the hospital. Right now, the state has nearly 40 percent of its ICU beds open and 80 percent of ventilators available.
The total number of deaths in the state now stands at 2,068, with 1,907 confirmed COVID-19 fatalities and 161 presumed cases. Marion County remains the epicenter of the outbreak with 9,524 cases and 558 deaths. Closer to Chicago, in Lake County, the number of cases now stands at 3,494 with 175 deaths–easily the second worst outbreak behind the Indianapolis area.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Wednesday that the city would enter the next phase of its economy’s reopening on Monday.
“We must remain vigilant even as we continue to reopen our economy, which means wearing face coverings out in public and maintaining social distance when interacting with others,” Hogsett said in a statement.
Over the holiday weekend, Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline beaches were packed, with no real signs of proper social distancing.