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Indiana COVID-19 deaths and cases down since December peak

January 22, 2021 GMT
Walgreens pharmacist Stephanie Rosado, left, administers a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shot to Peter Murdakes, a housing board member at the AHEPA apartments in Merrillville, on Monday./The Times via AP)
Walgreens pharmacist Stephanie Rosado, left, administers a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shot to Peter Murdakes, a housing board member at the AHEPA apartments in Merrillville, on Monday./The Times via AP)
Walgreens pharmacist Stephanie Rosado, left, administers a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shot to Peter Murdakes, a housing board member at the AHEPA apartments in Merrillville, on Monday./The Times via AP)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s rates of COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations and infection have reached their lowest levels in more than two months, and the governor is considering rolling back restrictions on crowd sizes.

The state health department’s daily update on Friday reported 49 more recent COVID-19 deaths, which pushed its pandemic death toll past 9,600. The seven-day rolling average of about 50 COVID-19 deaths, though, has declined by about 40% since its peak in early December.

Indiana’s daily average of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases has dropped during that time by about half, and its hospitalizations from the disease are down by nearly 40% from their peak after a steep surge that began in September.

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Gov. Eric Holcomb said Thursday that he might consider revisions to his executive order imposing crowd size limits based on each county’s risk level for coronavirus spread. But that is tempered by the state not broadening vaccine eligibility beyond health care workers and those age 70 or older because of limited dose availability from the federal government.

The state health commissioner, Dr. Kristina Box, said she thinks the vaccine might already be holding down new infections in nursing homes, although she couldn’t pinpoint a reason for the slower spread over the past month.

“Certainly, the stricter regulations that we have put on sizes of different gatherings certainly helped us,” Box said. “I think that being out of the holiday season and beyond that where we have lots of large gatherings and celebrations with families and individuals is also helping us.”