Indiana coronavirus today: IN Gov. Holcomb quarantines after COVID-19 exposure; state reports 6,143 new virus cases, 60 additional deaths

Indiana COVID-19 hospitalizations at new record high
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana reported 6,143 new coronavirus cases and 60 related deaths Wednesday, and Gov. Eric Holcomb must self-quarantine after several members of his security detail tested positive for the virus.

The Indiana State Department of Health confirmed a total of 268,222 positive coronavirus cases in the state, including 4,830 deaths Wednesday.

In the last 24 hours, officials have conducted 56,285 tests, with a seven-day test positivity rate of 12.2%.

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Indiana State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box advised Holcomb and First Lady Janet Holcomb to quarantine beginning Tuesday. The pair are considered close contacts to those who tested positive and will be tested later this week, Indiana officials said.

The Indiana State Department of Health will perform the contact tracing for the governor, first lady and the security detail.

Box and Dr. Lindsay Weaver will lead Wednesday's weekly COVID-19 briefing, and the governor will join by phone.

The 52-year-old Holcomb tested negative for COVID-19 last month after Box announced she was infected.

Republican legislative leaders say Indiana lawmakers won't be taking quick action to undercut public health orders that Gov. Eric Holcomb has issued over the past nine months of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican governor's use of executive orders have faced complaints from many conservatives. Two Republican House members didn't wear masks during the Legislature's largely ceremonial Organization Day session.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said he expected lawmakers to debate changes to the governor's emergency powers once the full legislative session begins in January, but he did not expect specific changes to Holcomb's executive orders.

The top leader of the Indiana House says the turmoil that schools have faced from the coronavirus pandemic will be a top concern of state legislators during their upcoming session.

Republican House Speaker Todd Huston said Monday that helping students catch up will be a priority during the session that starts in January. The Indiana State Teachers Association says lawmakers need to take action regarding Indiana's lagging teacher pay and increased stress on educators during the pandemic.

Allen County imposes restrictions amid growth in COVID cases

Allen County's health commissioner has scaled back capacity at bars, restaurants and gyms and issued restrictions on gatherings amid a growing number of COVID-19 cases.

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Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter said Tuesday that beginning at noon Sunday, restaurants and bars are restricted to 50 percent capacity and are forced to close between midnight and 5 a.m.

Gyms also are limited to 50 percent capacity. Sutter's order also places limits on social gatherings and events depending on the county's status in the state's color-coded chart of COVID-19 severity. Indianapolis and Gary have issued similar restrictions.

Indiana COVID-19 hospitalizations at new record high

State health officials say Indiana's hospitals were treating the largest number of COVID-19 patients since the state began releasing public reports on coronavirus hospitalizations last spring.

The Indiana State Department of Health says the state had 2,768 coronavirus hospitalizations as of Sunday, a number that surpasses the previous peak of 2,634 COVID-19 hospitalizations reported on Friday.

The department said in its daily statistics update Monday that more than 3,313 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in schools, bringing the statewide total to more than 8,217 cases among students, teachers and staff since the start of the school year.

ABC 7 Chicago contributed to this report.
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