Chesterton Tribune



More Indiana cities mandating masks as virus illnesses grow

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - More Indiana cities have decided to impose mask mandates as health officials reported Monday the state’s most hospitalizations of people with coronavirus-related illnesses in nearly a month.

West Lafayette’s mayor announced Monday an immediate requirement that face coverings be worn inside all places of business open to the public, all city facilities, public transportation and high-density workplaces.

The order from Republican Mayor John Dennis cited the city’s high population density and the expected upcoming return of Purdue University students as risks for spreading COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

A mask requirement announced by Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke is scheduled to take effect Wednesday. Winnecke pointed to consecutive days of Vanderburgh County recording its highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections when he announced the mandate on Friday.

Many people were wearing masks on their own, Winnecke said, “but the numbers show that more people need to.”

The true number of cases is likely far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

Similar mask requirements are in place in Indianapolis and St. Joseph, Elkhart and LaGrange counties in northern Indiana.

Hospitals around the state had 764 coronavirus patients as of Sunday, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. That is the most since June 19, but that number is about half the cases the state saw in much of April and early May. Hospitalizations had fallen to as low as 595 on June 26.

Deaths have continued to decline, with health officials adding two COVID-19 deaths on Monday to the state’s total of 2,762 confirmed or presumed coronavirus deaths since mid-March.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has declined to issue a statewide mask mandate, but he cited worries about possible increases in coronavirus cases across the state in deciding earlier this month to keep capacity limits in place for restaurants, bars and entertainment venues in place until at least Saturday.

Statewide: 662 new cases

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) was reporting this morning 662 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours (452 new cases on Monday), to bring the total so far to 52,685, up from 52,037 on Monday.

ISDH was also reporting 13 additional COVID-19 deaths (two on Monday), to bring the total to date to 2,779, up from 2,766 on Monday. Although new cases in Indiana are currently surging, there has been no accompanying spike in deaths.

Nursing home cases and deaths to date: 5,695 cases and 1,245 deaths (unchanged from Monday).

Marion County has the most reported cases, 12,192 (12,111 on Monday); and the most deaths, 697 (693). Lake County has reported 5,764 cases (5,677) and 251 deaths (249), the second highest in the state in both categories. LaPorte County has reported 639 cases and 28 deaths (629 and 28).

The total COVID-19 death count includes both confirmed and presumptive deaths to date. Presumptive deaths are those for which x-ray, scans, and clinical symptoms all point to COVID-19 but for which no positive test is on record. A total of 193 presumptive deaths was reported today, unchanged from Monday.



Posted 7/14/2020




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