Indiana coronavirus deaths at 17, new cases rise by 170

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses, including the novel coronavirus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first det ( Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images )

Three more deaths from illness related to the coronavirus were reported Thursday in Indiana, boosting the state’s total to 17 deaths as coronavirus cases rose to nearly 650 statewide amid the pandemic.

Indiana’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases grew by 170 to 645 across the state late Wednesday, following corrections to the state’s previously reported total cases, the Indiana State Department of Health said.

A southern Indiana medical center, meanwhile, announced that 63 employees have been placed in quarantine after coming in contact with a patient who tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Officials at Schneck Medical Center in the Jackson County city of Seymour said the employees have been placed on a 14-day quarantine because of their interaction with a patient who was treated there while not exhibiting any coronavirus symptoms, The Indianapolis Star reported.

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State health officials declined Wednesday to provide details on Indiana hospitals’ intensive care unit capacity and equipment availability around the state, with state health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box citing confidentiality arrangements with hospitals for not releasing those details.

In contrast, Illinois officials have provided updates such as the number of occupied hospital beds and ventilators in use around Indiana’s western neighbor and projections on what medical services will be needed if the virus outbreak isn’t contained.

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Box said Wednesday, however, that she’s seeing “positive movements” in availability of ICU beds and ventilators in Indiana.

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb, whose statewide stay-at-home order took effec t Wednesday, planned a Thursday afternoon briefing with other state leaders at the Indiana Statehouse on the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the state.