Indiana coronavirus today: IN reports 7,420 new COVID-19 cases, 59 additional deaths

Indiana county OKs fining businesses violating mask order
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana reported 7,420 new coronavirus cases and 59 related deaths Thursday.

The Indiana State Department of Health confirmed a total of 275,503 positive coronavirus cases in the state, including 4,889 deaths Thursday.

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In the last 24 hours, officials have conducted 57,797 tests, with a seven-day test positivity rate of 12.1%.

Indiana county OKs fining businesses violating mask order

Businesses in a northern Indiana county could now face fines if they fail to enforce a county mask order requiring employees of businesses to wear masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The St. Joseph County Commissioners passed an ordinance Tuesday allowing the county health department to fine businesses violating the order between $50 and $250 for each day that the business remains out of compliance.

Under the ordinance, the health department can only fine businesses whose employees are not wearing masks.

Businesses would not face fines if their customers fail to wear masks. The ordinance comes as coronavirus cases are surging across Indiana.

Indiana health leaders warn COVID-19 risking hospital care

State health and hospital leaders are warning that Indiana could be facing months more of the surging coronavirus infections that have already started to overwhelm hospitals.

Hospital executives said Wednesday that they are postponing outpatient surgeries and screenings so staffers can be reassigned to handle the steep increase in coronavirus patients.

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An IU Health official says the challenge could continue for months. The state has seen a 60% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in just two weeks and nearly a quarter of Indiana's counties are listed in the highest-risk category of coronavirus spread.

Indiana has recorded 322 virus-related deaths in the past week alone.

ABC 7 Chicago contributed to this report.
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