CHICAGO (CBS) — COVID-19 cases in Indiana continue to swell, as public health officials reported 1,581 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, the third highest daily total during the pandemic. The Indiana State Department of Health also announced six new COVID-19 deaths.
The past four days in Indiana have seen the four highest daily COVID counts so far during the pandemic, with more than 1,500 new cases per day, including a record 1,945 new cases reported on Saturday. The seven-day average for new cases stands at 1,519, the highest to date.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 also has been rising over the past couple weeks, from 957 on Sep. 27 to 1,238 as of Sunday night. Nearly 65% of ICU beds are currently occupied across the state, including 15.6% for COVID patients.
The biggest outbreaks are happening in the southwest portion of the state. In Northwest Indiana, cases also continue to rise. There were 232 reported cases in the five county region in the past day and the seven day average has risen to a record 180 cases.
Hospitalizations are also rising in the region in the past two weeks, from 143 on Sept. 27 to 245 as of Sunday night. A total of 58.2% of ICU beds are in use, including 15.2% used for COVID patients.
The recent surge in cases comes after Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered the state to fully open at Stage 5 on Sept. 26. The state still has a mask mandate and social distancing is still required at large events. Health experts also warned of an increase in cases in the weeks following the Labor Day holiday, similar to what happened on Memorial Day and July 4.
The Chicago Department of Public Health this week warned Indiana could be added to the city’s emergency travel order next week due to the recent surge in cases. The city’s travel order requires people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from COVID-19 hotspots. CDPH places states on the quarantine list when they surpass 15 new cases per day per 100,000 population. Indiana is now at more than 18 cases, according to the CDC, and city officials said for states bordering Illinois, they are given one week’s warning before being added to the list. If Indiana doesn’t get its daily case average under 15 by next week, it will be added to Chicago’s travel quarantine order.
Statewide, there are now 136,555 total reported cases, and 3,568 deaths in Indiana since the start of the pandemic. Another 227 Hoosiers likely died of COVID-19 but were never officially tested for the virus.