Health officials in Indiana on Thursday reported 6,604 new cases of coronavirus, lifting the state total for the pandemic so far above 400,000. The state also reported 96 additional deaths attributed to the virus.
According to data from the Indiana State Department of Health, a total of 404,935 Indiana residents have been diagnosed with coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 6,302 residents have died after contracting the illness.
In the last 24 hours, 16,897 new individuals have been tested for the virus, with 56,152 total tests administered.
According to the ISDH, the positivity rate on all tests over the last seven days dropped to 13.9%, down from 14.2% the day before. The positivity rate among unique individuals climbed to 26.7%, down from 27.7% Wednesday.
The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Indiana held steady at 3,244 total patients hospitalized. About 20.5% of ICU beds remain available statewide, with 43.6% in use by COVID patients, officials say, while 68.8% of ventilators remain available.
Indiana’s hospitals will have to postpone elective surgeries starting next week under an order the state’s governor said Wednesday was needed to free up hospital capacity amid steep recent increases in serious COVID-19 illnesses.
An initial shipment of some 55,000 doses of the first coronavirus vaccine is expected to arrive at Indiana hospitals next week as front-line health care workers start to receive shots.
Gov. Eric Holcomb said that hospitals were being directed to postpone all non-urgent in-patient surgeries beginning Dec. 16 through Jan. 3.
Holcomb said Indiana is “on fire” with coronavirus spread as the number of Indiana counties with the highest risk level of coronavirus spread more than doubled in the state health department’s weekly update. The tracking map labels 36 of the state’s 92 counties the most dangerous red category, up from 16 a week ago. All other counties are in the next riskiest orange rating.