By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — Indiana reported 63 new deaths from COVID-19, one of the highest single daily death tolls ever, and an additional 6,912 coronavirus infections, which is the third-highest case count since the start of the global pandemic. The state is reporting about 6,600 COVID-19 cases a day right now, one of the highest in the nation.

In fact, Indiana ranks No. 9 in the seven-day daily average.  Illinois, at 12,100 cases, ranks No. 1.

In Northwest Indiana, a record 14 deaths were reported to the state health department, including eight in Lake County alone, also a record. Another 849 COVID-19 cases were added in the five county region, 523 of them in Lake County. The area’s test positivity rate stands at 15%.

Hospitalizations continue to surge across the state  and for the first time, there are more COVID-19 patients in the ICU, compared with non-COVID patients–43% to 37%.  Overall there are 3,077 patients in the hospital with COVID, which includes 900 in ICU.  In Northwest Indiana, there are 543 patients hospitalized and 88 in ICU.  There are only 58 ICU beds available to treat patients who need intensive care, and that does not account for available staffing.

Statewide only 20% of ICU beds are available to treat the most seriously ill Hoosiers.