INDIANA CORONAVIRUS GRAPHIC - FILE - MOSAIC SAFE .jpg

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- More COVID-19 patients were being treated in Indiana hospitals' intensive care units on Thursday than at any other point in the pandemic, state health officials reported Friday.

Indiana hospitals were treating 3,077 COVID-19 patients as of Thursday — a 277% increase since late September, the Indiana State Department of Health said in its daily statistics update. Of those hospitalized, 898 were in intensive care — the largest number Indiana has seen since officials began releasing those counts last spring, early in the pandemic.

More than 78% of Indiana’s ICU beds were in use Thursday, leaving 2,153 beds available.

The health department also added 63 more coronavirus-related deaths to Indiana’s pandemic toll. Indiana has now recorded 5,206 coronavirus deaths, including both those with confirmed and presumed infections.

The new deaths bring the state’s seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths to 43 per day. Indiana had been averaging about 10 daily deaths in late September when the current surge of new infections and hospitalizations began.

The 6,912 new coronavirus infections the health department reported Friday give Indiana more than 45,000 confirmed cases in one week’s time, or about 16% of all such infections since Indiana's first case was confirmed about 8 1/2 months ago. The state’s moving seven-day average of new infections is about seven times higher than in September, when Gov. Eric Holcomb lifted nearly all business and crowd size restrictions.

Holcomb reinstated crowd limits last week and has appealed for people to abide by the statewide mask mandate as steep increases in COVID-19 patients are straining hospitals around the state.

As of Friday, 2,030,938 unique individuals have been tested in Indiana, up from 2,009,763 on Thursday. A total of 3,785,422 tests, including repeat tests for unique individuals, have been reported to the state Department of Health since Feb. 26.

To find testing sites in Indiana, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link.

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