INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Indiana health officials declined Wednesday to provide details on hospital
capacity around the state as its number of confirmed coronavirus-related
illnesses continued to grow quickly and two more deaths were reported. The
new deaths in Hancock and Howard counties were the first ones in each
county, giving Indiana 14 total deaths as a statewide stay-at-home order
took effect Wednesday aimed at slowing spread of the virus. A roundup of
what’s happening statewide:
Dr. Kristina Box,
the state health commissioner, cited confidentiality arrangements with
hospitals for not releasing details about intensive care unit capacity and
equipment availability around the state. She said she’s seeing “positive
movements” in availability of ICU beds and ventilators.
is stepping up to the plate and trying to pretty much double their ICU
capacity, I’m seeing those numbers increase as we go along,” Box said.
Illinois officials have provided updates such as the number of occupied
hospital beds and ventilators in use around the state and projections on
what medical services will be needed if the virus outbreak isn’t contained.
Box said the state
health department received several truckloads of medical worker protection
items such as masks, face shields and gowns this week and was distributing
it to hospitals and county health officials.
When asked whether
the state had a two-week supply of such items available, Box replied: “We
are better off than that, I can guarantee you. I’ve got many hospitals and
local health departments that haven’t even yet asked for their allotment.”
Indiana’s number of
confirmed COVID-19 cases jumped by 115 to reach a total of 477, the Indiana
State Department of Health said.
Marion County, home
of Indianapolis, had most of the state’s new coronavirus cases - 67 -
bringing its total to 226 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the
virus. Central Indiana accounts for the majority of the state’s confirmed
coronavirus illnesses. Among suburban Indianapolis counties, Hamilton had 30
cases; Johnson had 24, and Hendricks had 15 cases.
St. Joseph and Lake counties had 19 cases each. No other Indiana counties
had 10 or more confirmed cases.
For most people,
the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough
that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and
people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness,
including pneumonia and death.
Gov. Eric Holcomb’s
order issued Monday for Indiana residents to remain at home for two weeks
began early Wednesday. The order has exceptions for workers in essential
industries or for necessary trips for food and medicine, to limit the spread
of the coronavirus. Holcomb’s order continues through April 6, but he said
it could be extended.
mirrors similar ones in adjacent Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, and directs
Hoosiers to stay at home unless their job is an essential function, such as
a health care provider, grocery store clerk, police, fire and other first
responders, or those working in garbage collection, public transit and key
Indiana had nearly
54,000 people file for unemployment benefits last week - a 23-fold increase
from the week before - as factories, restaurants, hotels and other
businesses began to close. Those now-unemployed people alone represent a 50%
jump in the state’s jobless total in January.
More than 10,000
Indianapolis residents submitted unemployment claims last week, according to
the state Department of Workforce Development. At least 11 other counties
had more than 1,000 people submit claims.
encouraged anyone losing their job to quickly apply online for unemployment
benefits. On Wednesday, he touted that Indiana had a record number of people
employed before the pandemic’s impact hit and said he is confident the
state’s economy will bounce back.
were sound going into this,” Holcomb said. “This is a virus that we’re
dealing with, this is not our economy that is pulling us back or dragging us