Medical

Live updates: 13 COVID-19 deaths in Indiana; state hopes to expand testing

Indiana expanding access to COVID-19 testing

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana State Department of Health has issued its daily COVID-19 update.

On Tuesday, health officials in Howard County announced their first death related to the coronavirus. Officials said the person was a 60-year-old who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 and also had underlying health conditions.

This brings Indiana’s total deaths related to coronavirus to 13.

According to ISDH, 106 people tested positive for the virus on Monday. A total of 971 people were tested on Monday.

ISDH has removed a previous case from Hancock County from the state’s tracker, saying it was erroneously reported as a positive. Three more cases have shifted counties of residence in the tracker.

At 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Gov. Eric Holcomb and State health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box will provide updates on COVID-19 in Indiana. You can watch that news conference live on WISH-TV, WISHTV.com, the WISH-TV news app and on our Facebook page.

On Monday, Holcomb announced a “stay at home” executive order, which goes in place at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. The governor’s office has issued a “frequently asked questions” list regarding the order and information about what is considered “essential business and operations” can be found here.

According to this interactive COVID-19 tracker from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, there more than 392,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in more than 17,000 deaths. The tracker says more than 102,000 people have recovered from the virus.

On Tuesday, MedExpress Urgent Care said it’s providing COVID-19 testing at its Beech Grove location. Testing will only be available to those who meet CDC-based screening criteria and as testing supplies remain available. Call first: 317-786-7950.

Here are highlights from an afternoon news conference of state leaders led by Gov. Eric Holcomb:

  • Indiana announces it will begin more COVID-19 testing at locations in a few days.
  • Indiana health commissioner Dr. Kris Box said “targeted testing” for COVID-19 is continuing. She said clinicians need to use their judgment as to whether give a COVID-19 test.
  • Box says the total of positive COVID-19 test results continue to increase in the state, with added testing being done. About 13% of tests are coming back positive.
  • Box says the state hopes to improve its data to break down COVID-19 cases by gender, age and other details in the next couple of weeks.
  • Box says about COVID-19, “I want to emphasize we’re in the early stages of this outbreak.”
  • Box said there’s been a uptick of respiratory illness in the last day or so.
  • Box says the state is working to conserve its supplies needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Box said she cannot say whether Hoosiers with COVID-19 are health care workers, have chronic diseases or other details because hospital record coding won’t be up to speed until at least April 1.
  • Box said we’re going to see more and more people getting sick in all age groups, not just those over age 60 with pre-existing conditions.
  • Holcomb said the state will announce recoveries from COVID-19 when it has that information.
  • On the “stay at home” order that begins at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Holcomb said, “We’re trying to be as serious … blunt as we can.” People won’t be pulled over going to and from work. Cases of flaunting the law will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Steve Cox of Indiana Homeland Security says a new call center for questions from industries deemed essential services had problems on Tuesday morning that have been resolved. It’d received over 1,000 calls in its first day. It’s open until 9 a.m-6 p.m. Number is 877-820-0890.
  • Fred Payne of Indiana Workforce Development said any Hoosiers out of work, including temporary layoffs, are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits.
  • Payne said Hoosiers who are unsure if they’re eligible for unemployment benefits should go ahead and apply.
  • Holcomb said employees facing issues should first go to their employer and try to work out the issues. If it persists, then the state wants to know so it can try to resolve it.
  • Holcomb said more announcements will be coming Wednesday on the economic front.
  • Holcomb said, “I get it. This is a time of change, uncertainty, maybe a little cabin fever already. I talked to my parents yesterday. They said the house has never been cleaner.”
  • Holcomb said about a recovery bill stuck in the U.S. Senate that it’s time to put aside political gains. “Americans need help right now.”
  • Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said, “I want to start off by saying we’re all going to be OK. We’re going to be OK.”
  • Carter cautioned people to evaluate sources of information. “It’s easy to say something you don’t believe when you’re in some far off place.”
  • Another news conference is tentatively set for 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Speedway Fire Department confirmed Tuesday night that a Speedway firefighter has tested positive for COVID-19. The firefighter was ordered to quarantine at home. Four other firefighters who had contact with the person have been instructed to go into quarantine as well.

County-by-country numbers, according to ISDH

  • Adams – 1
  • Allen – 7, including one death
  • Bartholomew – 5
  • Boone – 3
  • Brown – 1
  • Clark – 5
  • Dearborn – 2
  • Decatur – 6
  • Delaware – 4, including one death
  • Dubois – 1
  • Elkhart – 4
  • Fayette – 2
  • Floyd – 6
  • Franklin – 7
  • Gibson – 2
  • Grant – 3
  • Hamilton – 25
  • Hancock – 4
  • Harrison – 1
  • Hendricks – 13
  • Howard – 6
  • Jackson – 1
  • Jennings – 2
  • Johnson – 18, including three deaths
  • Lake – 17
  • LaPorte – 2
  • Lawrence – 1
  • Madison – 3
  • Marion – 161, including six deaths
  • Miami – 1
  • Monroe – 3
  • Montgomery – 1
  • Morgan – 3
  • Noble – 1
  • Ohio – 1
  • Owen – 2
  • Porter – 1
  • Putnam – 1
  • Ripley – 6
  • Scott – 1, including one death
  • Shelby – 1
  • St. Joseph – 15
  • Starke – 1
  • Sullivan – 1
  • Tippecanoe – 3
  • Tipton – 2
  • Vanderburgh – 1
  • Vigo – 3
  • Warrick – 1
  • Washington – 2
  • Wells – 1

Timeline of coronavirus in Indiana

  • March 6: Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) confirms the first case in Indiana. Officials say the Marion County resident had recently traveled to Boston to attend a BioGen conference as a contractor.
  • March 8: ISDH confirms a second case. An adult in Hendricks County who had also traveled to the BioGen conference was placed in isolation. Noblesville Schools announces that a parent and that parent’s children will be self-quarantining after attending an out-of-state event where someone else tested positive.
  • March 9: ISDH’s total of positive cases rises to 4. Avon Community School Corp. had announced on March 8 that a student tested positive; that case, along with another in Noble County, was confirmed by state health officials at a news conference.
  • March 10: ISDH’s total of positive cases rises to 6 as the state launches an online tracker. Purdue and Indiana universities suspend classes for two weeks beyond their spring breaks. Ball State University basketball fans learn the Mid-American Conference tourney will have no fans in the stands. Three businesses operating nursing homes in Indiana announce they will no longer allow visitors.
  • March 11: ISDH confirms four more positive cases in Indiana. The University of Indianapolis announces it will extend its ongoing spring break through March 22. The Indianapolis-based NCAA announces the men’s and women’s Final Four basketball tournaments will be conducted with essential staff and limited family attendance. The Big Ten announces all sports events, including the men’s basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, will have no fans starting March 12. Ball State University announces classes are suspended for the rest of the spring semester. NBA suspends all games, including the Indiana Pacers, until further notice. Butler University extends its spring break, after which it will go to virtual classes.
  • March 12: ISDH’s total of positive cases rises 12. Taylor University cancels international and domestic spring break trips for students and faculty sponsors. Indianapolis’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is canceled. Gov. Eric Holcomb announces new protections that led to extended public school closings and the cancellation of large events across the state. The league including the Indy Fuel hockey team suspends its season. Indy Eleven says it will reschedule four matches, including its April 4 home opener. The NCAA cancels the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The Big Ten suspends all sporting events through the winter and spring seasons.
  • March 13: Gov. Holcomb announces additional actions — they included eliminating Medicaid co-pays for COVID-19 testing and lifting regulations limiting the number of work hours per day for drivers of commercial vehicles — to help stop the coronavirus. Wayzata Home Products, a Connersville cabinet maker, shut down and lays off its entire workforce due to market uncertainty associated with the coronavirus. The Indiana High School Athletic Association postpones the boys basketball tournament. Franklin College says it will have no in-person classes March 16 and 17, start online classes March 18 through at least April 5 and empty residence halls of students by 5 p.m. March 15. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis says it will be closed March 14-28. The Indianapolis Public Library joins other libraries across Indiana and says it will close all facilities until further notice beginning at 5 p.m. March 14.
  • March 14: ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 15. The Indiana Gaming Commission says all licensed gaming and racing operations will close 14 days starting March 16.
  • March 15: ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 19, with 121 tested. St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis announces all elective, non-urgent surgeries are canceled as of Tuesday.
  • March 16: Gov. Eric Holcomb announces the first Hoosier death. ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 24. Holcomb closes bars, restaurants and nightlubs to in-person patrons, while carryout and delivery services will still be allowed.
  • March 17: ISDH announces the second Hoosier death. Indiana’s Catholic bishops announce the cancellation of Sunday and weekday public masses. Gov. Holcomb activates the National Guard to assist as needed with the virus response. Purdue, Butler and Indiana State universities cancel May commencement ceremonies.
  • March 18: ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 39. Eli Lilly and Co. says it will use its labs to speed up testing in Indiana for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The 500 Festival announces suspends all planned, in-person events scheduled through May 9. Simon Property Group closes all malls and retail properties until March 29.
  • March 19: ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 56. Gov. Holcomb extends Indiana’s state of emergency into May. Holcomb says all K-12 public schools will be closed until May 1 and nonpublic schools also are to close. Standardized testing was canceled. The state’s income-tax and corporate-tax payment deadline was extended to July 15. Holcomb says the state will waive job search requirements for people applying for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The IHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament was canceled. The Marion County Emergency Operations Center upgrades to Level 1 status.
  • March 20: ISDH reports the third Hoosier death and 23 new cases for a total of 79. Gov. Holcomb moves the state’s primary election to June 2. Indiana University says it is postponing May commencement ceremonies on all campuses. Indiana University Health says it can do limited virus testing.
  • March 21: ISDH reports the fourth Hoosier death, and 47 new cases positive for a total of 126. A total of 833 people have been tested for the virus. Indiana National Guard details how it’s working with the Department of Transportation on distribution of medical supplies to hospitals.
  • March 22: Indiana’s death toll rises to 7. ISDH reports 75 more positive cases.
  • March 23: ISDH reports 259 cases of COVID-19, up from 201 a day earlier. Gov. Holcomb orders Hoosiers deemed nonessential to “stay at home” from March 24-April 7. Eli Lilly & Co. begins drive-thru testing for the coronavirus for health care workers with a doctor’s order. Ball State University cancels the May commencement.
  • March 24: Indiana’s death toll rises to 13. Fred Payne of Indiana Workforce Development says any Hoosiers out of work, including temporary layoffs, are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits.
  • March 25: Indiana’s death toll rises 17. Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces the Indianapolis 500 is moved to Aug. 23. IndyGo suspends fares and changes its ride schedules.
  • March 27: Indiana’s death toll rises to 25. Marion County adds 192 new positive COVID-19 cases, the most of any county in the state for the day, for a total of 484. Indiana has 981 confirmed cases.
  • March 28: Indiana’s death toll rises to 31. Marion County adds 100 new cases, the most of any county in the state, for a total of 584. Indiana has 1,232 confirmed cases.
  • March 29: Indiana’s death toll rises to 32. Marion County adds 92 new positive cases, the most of any county in the state, for a total 676. Indiana has 1,514 confirmed cases. President Donald Trump announces in a press conference that the national social distancing recommendation will be extended by 30 days, to end April 30.
  • March 30: Indiana’s death toll rises to 35. Marion County had the most new cases in the state with 135, for a total of 804. Indiana health commissioner Dr. Kris Box predicted the arrival of the surge in cases and deaths could come in mid-April to late April, but could be as late as mid-May, “but we don’t know.”
  • March 31: Indiana’s death toll rises to 49. Gov. Holcomb extends the limits of bars and restaurants to offer only “to go” and “carry out” through April 6. Health commissioner Box, asked about when Indiana will be in a surge of COVID-19 cases, says she thinks the surge is starting.
  • April 1: Indiana’s death toll rises to 65. Officials extend Marion County’s “stay at home” order through May 1. Marion County health officials say they will start COVID-19 testing services for frontline employees.The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis says it will remain closed until further notice. Gov. Holcomb announces the #InThisTogether campaign.
  • April 2: Indiana’s death toll rises to 78. The state announces K-12 schools will be closed for the rest of the school year. The Indiana High School Athletic Association cancels spring sports seasons.
  • April 3: Indiana’s death toll rises to 102. Gov. Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order through May 3. Indiana officials say the state has received a federal Major Disaster Declaration for all 92 counties. The Indiana National Guard says it, the Army Corps of Engineers and state health officials will begin on Saturday to assess sites for alternate health care facilities.
  • April 4: ISDH reports 14 more deaths, bringing the state’s total to 116. 3,953 Hoosiers have tested positive, with 116 deaths and 19,800 total tests conducted. 
  • April 5: ISDH reports 11 more deaths in Indiana.
  • April 6: Indiana’s death toll rises to 139. The state reports one Madison County nursing home has had 11 deaths. Gov. extends the “stay at home” order through April 20. He also limits additional businesses to carry-out only.
  • April 7: Indiana’s death toll rises to 173. A total of 5,507 Hoosiers have tested positive. Indiana health commissioner Box notes four long-term care facilities have 22 deaths that appear to be related to COVID-19.

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