State tops 10K coronavirus deaths

By The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana has surpassed 10,000 coronavirus-related deaths since the first cases were reported in the state nearly 11 months ago.

The state Department of Health on Tuesday added 65 coronavirus deaths occurring over several days to the statewide total, pushing it to 10,054 fatalities including both confirmed and presumed COVID-19 infections.

State officials expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility on Monday to those between ages 65 and 69. The action makes vaccine appointments available to health care workers and anyone ages 65 and older.

Nearly 1,500 deaths have been recorded statewide during January, which was the third-deadliest month after November and then December saw new peaks for the state. The past three months represent almost 60% of the state’s pandemic deaths following a steep increase in new infections, hospitalizations and deaths that began in September.

The state’s seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths has declined to the high 40s per day after peaking at 86 a day in mid-December. Indiana hospitals had about 1,600 coronavirus patients as of Monday, about half the number in early December but double they had over the summer.

Gov. Eric Holcomb decided last week to relax the state’s limits on crowd sizes with the recent improvements in coronavirus statistics.

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