Indiana health officials reported 7,420 new coronavirus cases Thursday, along with 59 additional deaths attributed to the virus.
The state has now reported a total of 275,503 cases since the pandemic began, with a surge in new cases in recent weeks. Thursday's single-day death toll also lifted the total fatalities related to the coronavirus during the pandemic to 4,889.
Indiana’s seven-day positivity rate on all tests fell slightly Thursday, down to 12.1% from 12.2% the day before. When calculated by the percentage of individual residents who have tested positive, that rate still increased though, reaching 23.6% over the last seven days.
A total of 57,797 tests were administered in the last 24 hours, with 21,904 individuals tested during that time. Overall, the state has administered 3,725,334 tests during the pandemic so far.
Hospitalizations in the state have also continued to spike in recent weeks, hitting another record high, as 3,063 patients are currently hospitalized with coronavirus or coronavirus-like illnesses, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. That figure crossed 3,000 on Wednesday for the first time since the pandemic began.
Approximately 39.4% of the state’s intensive care unit beds are currently in use by coronavirus patients, while 9.6% of the state’s ventilators are in use by COVID-19 patients. Data showed 21.3% of ICU beds remain available - a decrease from the day before.
New coronavirus restrictions are now in effect in the state, with added requirements for residents and targeted mitigations for several regions beginning after weeks of steep increases in coronavirus-related deaths and hospitalizations.
Continuing through at least Dec. 12, most of the state is under a new governor’s order reinstating limits on crowd sizes.
Gov. Eric Holcomb’s new order, which took effect Sunday, limits crowd sizes to 25 people in the highest-risk red counties under the state’s assessment map and 50 people in the next-riskiest orange counties, with larger events needing approval from health officials. The state health department’s latest assessment places 87 of the state’s 92 counties in those categories.
The order directs the state health and homeland security departments and the state alcohol commission to work with local health agencies on enforcement of mask wearing and distancing at businesses. It recommends incremental warnings for violations and possible orders for business closures for those refusing to comply.
"We are in the midst of a second surge," Holcomb said in announcing the changes last week.
Holcomb said he was also extending the statewide mask mandate for another month.
Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths average has tripled since Holcomb lifted nearly all coronavirus-related restrictions in late September. During that time, COVID-19 hospitalizations have gone up 200% and the seven-day moving average of newly confirmed infections is six times higher.