LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Indiana health officials reported a new, one-day record for the number of COVID-19 cases.
The Indiana Department of Health announced Friday that 1,832 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19. That brings to 131,493 the total number of Indiana residents known to have had the novel coronavirus.
"There's simply more testing going on, but the other thing to be concerned about is we've recently entered stage 5 of the reopening plan and we've historically seen a spike in cases after each opening phase," said Dr. Tom Harris, the Floyd County health officer and an emergency room physician.
Harris has been tracking the virus in the area since the pandemic started and said local communities are doing pretty well.
However, he said some people are starting to experience pandemic fatigue.
"Clearly economically, people want this to be over with, emotionally want this to be over with but you don't always get what you want," Harris said. "People are just tired of the rules and they're starting to sort of freelance and do what they want, certainly there are some rules that need to be continued."
Indiana’s mask mandate is still in effect, and Harris says it’s important to wear a mask whenever necessary.
"There's a few people that have turned it into a civil rights issue but it's really not," he said. "It's a way to help yourself out and help your family and your neighbor."
Harris said masks are effective, but social distancing and hand washing also need to be a priority.
"Even though people are tired of doing it, they've been doing it for months, it needs to continue because we're now in a more liberal stage that allows people to get out, it allows higher densities of people to get together that are not family members and that's a risk to increase disease," he said.
Another 19 people have died from complications of the virus in Indiana, bringing the death toll to 3,534 since the pandemic began.
State statistics show that Indiana's COVID-19 hospitalizations are at a level last recorded in late May. Local health officials say they worry about Evansville and South Bend area hospitals becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
New infections and hospitalizations across Indiana are higher than two weeks ago, when Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb decided to lift most statewide mitigation measures.
To find testing sites around the state, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link.
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