By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — The average daily number of COVID-19 cases in Indiana has doubled in two weeks, and at least one model predicts the state could experience 10,000 cases a day by Thanksgiving.

Indiana was averaging about 3,000 cases a day on Nov. 1–that number is now slightly more than 6,000. The number of Hoosiers in the hospital with COVID are at record highs and well beyond the peaks seen in the spring. In the past two weeks, currently with 2,738 patients, hospitalizations have increased 57%. Statewide, the number of ICU beds available has dwindled to about 25% of capacity–but that doesn’t account for lack of staffing for those beds.

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Micah Pollak, an economics professor at Indiana University Northwest, predicts the the average case count could reach 10,000 before the end of November.

(Credit: Twitter)

The same trend holds in the five-county region of Northwest Indiana–daily cases have doubled in two weeks to 879 on average. Patients hospitalized with COVID have soared to a record 476 patients, a 62% increase from Nov. 1.

(Credit: Indiana State Health Department)

Deaths are also rising. In Lake County the number of deaths from COVID-19 nearly equals that of all of South Korea, according to Pollak.

And statewide, more people on average a dying each day than from heart disease–which is the No. 1 killer in the state. The count could reach 80 by Thanksgiving, Pollak predicts.

On Monday, the state reported 5,218 new COVID cases and 26 more deaths–a remarkably high number for a Sunday. The five county region of Northwest Indiana reported nearly 1,000 of those cases. Lake County, which is the second largest in Indiana, accounted for 598 of those cases and one additional death.

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On Sunday, the state implemented restrictions to help combat the spread, placing limits on public gatherings.  Many school districts in Northwest Indiana who had been doing in-person learning, are now shifting to all e-learning.