Another five deaths have died from COVID-19 COVID-19 in the Region Thursday while, for the first time, Indiana reported over 4,000 new cases during a 24-hour period.

The five-county Northwest Indiana region also added 857 new cases.

The additional deaths bring local totals to 387 in Lake County, 63 in Porter County, 69 in LaPorte County, 12 in Newton County and six in Jasper County, according to data from the Indiana State Department of Health and local health departments.

The Porter County Health Department had not updated its data as of Thursday afternoon.

Across Indiana, 45 more deaths were reported, bringing the state's total to 4,269.

The number of deaths in Indiana listed as probable jumped by two, to 242 total. For probable deaths, there was no positive test on record, but a physician listed COVID-19 as a contributing cause, based on X-rays, scans and other clinical symptoms. One of those probable deaths was in Porter County, officials said.

New deaths reported Thursday occurred between Oct. 23 and Wednesday, state health officials said. All data were provisional and subject to change as more information is reported to the state.

A total of 537 Northwest Indiana residents have died because of the disease since the pandemic began, and a total of 26,109 have been infected.

Northwest Indiana case totals included 17,487 in Lake County, up 522 from the day before; 4,514 in Porter County, up 196; 2,877 in LaPorte County, up 98; 909 in Jasper County, up 21; and 322 in Newton County, up 20.

In Porter County, 23 patients were hospitalized and 3,099 had recovered, the county health department said.

Weekly COVID-19 cases in Indiana have increased by nearly four times since the week of Sept. 20, Micah Pollak, associate professor of economics at Indiana University Northwest said.

Over the same period of time, testing has increased by 47%, and the weekly positivity rate has risen by 4.83 percentage points, Pollak said.

The state's seven-day positivity rates for all cases rose to 8.8% from 8.7% on Wednesday.

Contact tracing can become difficult when the number exceeds 5%, and community spread is considered out of control when the positivity rate is greater than 10%.

County-level seven-day positivity rates in Northwest Indiana included 12.5% in Lake County, up from 12.3%; 12.8% in Porter, up from 12.1%; 9.7% in LaPorte, up from 9%; 8% in Newton up from 7.9%; and 10.8% in Jasper, down from 11.5%.

Another 4,462 additional positive cases were reported, bringing the total number of Hoosiers diagnosed with COVID-19 to 196,176.

According to the ISDH,1,761,947 individuals have been tested in Indiana, and a total of 3,073,855 tests, including repeat tests for unique individuals, have been administered.

Newly reported tests were administered between March 2 and Wednesday.

Across the border, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,226 cases (up 30 from Wednesday) and 13,458 tests conducted in Lansing, and 1,446 cases (up 14) and 17,520 tests in Calumet City.

To find testing locations around Indiana, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link. More than 200 locations are available around the state, including sites in Valparaiso and Michigan City.
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