Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Tuesday signed an executive order to extend the state's public health emergency an additional 30 days as Indiana marked the deadliest day during the coronavirus pandemic and hospitalizations again reached a record high.
"Despite significant steps being taken in our State, the virus remains a threat to the health, safety and welfare of all residents of Indiana such that emergency conditions continue to exist," Holcomb wrote in the executive order, "and efforts are needed to continue to address, control and reduce the threat posed by COVID-19."
Holcomb noted in the order that the coronavirus has spread to every county in Indiana, with over 344,000 confirmed cases and nearly 5,600 deaths. The spread of the virus "has increased significantly over the past 30 days," he said, adding that the seven-day average positivity rate stands at over 10%, an increase from under 4% 10 weeks ago.
The state on Tuesday reported 142 additional deaths within the last 24 hours, Indiana's highest single-day death toll during the pandemic, along with 5,518 new cases.
Indiana set a new record for one-day deaths three times in November, eclipsing the previous high each time. The last record was set on Nov. 24, when the state saw 103 deaths.
Tuesday's death toll brought the total number of coronavirus deaths in Indiana to 5,598, according to figures from the Indiana State Department of Health.
"It is necessary and proper to take further action to protect the health, safety and welfare of all Hoosiers in connection with COVID-19," Holcomb wrote in the executive order.
The renewal of the order, the ninth time it has been renewed since the start of the pandemic, began Dec. 1 and is set to expire Dec. 30. It will be reviewed and either rescinded or expended for another 30 days.