If northwest Indiana were its own state, the five-county region's coronavirus case total would rank higher than 10 U.S. states, data shows.
As of Thursday, the region comprised of Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties had a total of 8,427 coronavirus cases.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that number would put the area above 10 states, including:
- Hawaii (1,339 cases)
- Vermont (1,366 cases)
- Alaska (2,132 cases)
- Wyoming (2,288 cases)
- Montana (2,909 cases)
- Maine (3,737 cases)
- West Virginia (5,461 cases)
- North Dakota (5,493 cases)
- New Hampshire (6,295 cases)
- and South Dakota (8,077 cases)
On Thursday alone, northwest Indiana recorded its second straight day of 124 new cases.
Lake County, Indiana's second-largest county, makes up a majority of the region's cases, with 6,469 reported as of Thursday. That number puts the county at the second-highest case total in all of Indiana, behind only Marion County, which is home to Indianapolis.
This week, officials Lake County adopted face mask mandates for residents and businesses in an attempt to slow the coronavirus spread. Mask requirements were also issued in LaPorte County.
Beginning next week, Indiana will have a statewide face mask mandate, joining many other states in the attempt to slow the coronavirus spread, Gov. Eric Holcomb said Wednesday.
The order will apply to anyone ages 8 and older in any indoor public or business areas and at outdoor public spaces when sufficient distancing can’t be maintained. The order will take effect Monday.
Holcomb said a renewed growth in the number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations necessitated the mask order. He said he did not want Indiana to have to follow other states and restore business restrictions that had been lifted in the past couple months.
The state of Indiana reported a record daily rise in infections Thursday with 954 new cases of coronavirus reported by the state's health department Thursday, along with 17 additional deaths attributed to the virus.
The daily increase tops the previous daily record of 951 cases set on April 27.
In all, 59,602 Indiana residents have tested positive for coronavirus, with 2,683 deaths attributed to the illness. A total of 666,283 tests have been performed, up from 654,413 the day before.
The new deaths lift the total fatalities due to the virus to 2,683 with and additional 197 "probable deaths," according to the state's health department.
Indiana’s attorney general believes the governor overstepped his authority in issuing the statewide face mask mandate and that only the Legislature can make violations a criminal offense.