Indiana COVID-19 Update: IN reports 889 new coronavirus cases, 40 deaths

Indiana expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana public health officials announced 889 new COVID-19 cases and 40 additional deaths on Tuesday.

Overall, 11,805 Indiana residents have died from COVID-19 and 650,530 have contracted it since the start of the pandemic.

Health officials say the latest recorded seven-day positive COVID-19 test rate in the state is 5%. Health officials say there have been more than 7.5 million tests administered.

Federal trials expected to resume in Indiana district

A judge says federal jury trials suspended last fall amid a surge in coronavirus cases are expected to resume in April in all divisions of the Southern District of Indiana.

Chief Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson announced Friday that the court anticipates in-person jury trials to resume April 5 in all divisions of the U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, which has courts in Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Evansville and New Albany. Clerk offices will also reopen Tuesday to the public in all divisions.

The resumption of jury trials does not preclude a judge from continuing a jury trial for reasons related to the pandemic.

Indiana expanding COVID-19 vaccines to Hoosiers 60 and up

Indiana health officials will soon expand coronavirus vaccines to Hoosiers aged 60 to 65 as they continue to sidestep federal recommendations for vaccine rollout and delay the timeline for teachers and other essential workers to become eligible for COVID-19 shots.

The state health department's chief medical officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver announced Wednesday that the decrease in the age of eligibility will happen "as soon as possible," once vaccine becomes available.

Hoosiers aged 50 to 59, as well as those under age 50 who suffer from certain comorbidities, will be on deck, Weaver said.

There are no specific timelines in place for when new eligibility expansions will take effect, however.

Indiana deaths jumped by 18% during 2020 amid pandemic

A larger surge of coronavirus deaths in Indiana during December than was initially reported contributed to an 18% jump in the state's overall deaths during 2020.

Preliminary totals from the Indiana Department of Health show nearly 77,000 died in the state last year -- an increase of almost 11,000 from 2019 -- as nationwide deaths also jumped with the global pandemic.

The large increase came as health officials have recorded at least 9,390 COVID-19 deaths during 2020.

Recently revised figures from the state health department boosted the peak of Indiana's rolling average of COVID-19 deaths to 102 in mid-December, up from the previous high of 86 a day.

WLS-TV contributed to this report
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