Chesterton Tribune



Virus deaths already triple annual flu toll in Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana’s number of coronavirus-related deaths in one month has tripled the state’s typical level of flu deaths over a seven-month period.

Deaths now total more than 500. The first reported death in Indiana happened March 15, with more than three-quarters of the deaths occurring in the past two weeks.

Indiana has averaged about 150 flu deaths over a seven-month period in recent years, according to Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner. since the first fatality March 15.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said Thursday he was working with other Midwestern states on how to loosen business and travel restrictions as than 100,000 people filed new unemployment claims in Indiana last week amid. Holcomb and six other governors announced Thursday they planned to coordinate on reopening their state economies after weeks of coronavirus restrictions.

Holcomb described the pact with Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Minnesota as a way of making sure all the state leaders know about the actions each other are taking.

Holcomb said he spoke Thursday with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine about loosening business and travel restrictions but that he believed the coming days were important to make sure a surge in coronavirus cases doesn’t happen. “We’re both thinking about May. I’m not being date specific,” Holcomb said. “I’m going to be looking at the numbers.”

Indiana has had a stay-at-home order in place since March 25 and Holcomb could announce today to extend or modify that order.

State Republican and Democratic leaders have agreed to shorten the time for early in-person voting ahead of the June 2 primary election from the normal 28 days to one week. Secretary of State Connie Lawson, a Republican, said election officials still plan to have polling sites open on primary day but that the state election commission will vote today on a plan for giving county officials more flexibility for designating voting locations.






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