ELKHART — Elkhart County and the state both broke their one-day record for new COVID-19 cases Thursday.
Statewide, 2,873 new cases were recorded Wednesday and reported Thursday. The previous record, set last Friday, was 2,487.
Elkhart County topped 200 cases in a day for the first time Wednesday with 229 new cases. The previous record, set last Wednesday, was 147. The new tally pushed the county’s seven-day average up to 121 cases per day, which is also a new high.
Three more Elkhart County residents have died from COVID-19, the Indiana State Department of Health reported Thursday. That makes the local death tally 135. In the last 30 days, 26 Elkhart County residents have died from COVID-19.
Statewide, 42 additional deaths were reported. They occurred over multiple days. Forty-two is also the highest seven-day average of deaths the state has ever had. That occurred in April. The current seven-day average is 22, up from about 10 per day from July through mid-September.
In Elkhart County, the positive test rate continues to climb. The seven-day average for individuals is 22.2 percent, 0.1 percent below the record set on April 14. The seven-day average for all tests has moved from 5.22 percent a month ago to 11.2 percent as of Oct. 15, which is the latest date that has non-preliminary data for the positive test rate.
A positive test rate for all tests of under 15 percent kept Elkhart County from moving from orange to red COVID-19 alert status this week, according to health officials, but the Elkhart County Health Department said that could well change by the end of this week.
The number of people getting tested has reached a seven-day average of 365 as of Oct. 15. That is well above the about 220 a day in parts of September, but below the more than 400 a day in June.
In total, Elkhart County has had 8,759 confirmed cases of COVID-19. To date, 58,836 county residents have been tested, and 135 have died. About 94.8 percent of the deaths in Elkhart County occurred among people who were 60 or older. Those who are 59 or younger make up 79.7 percent of the residents who have been infected. The biggest number of infections is among people between 20 and 29.
In Indiana, there has been a total of 155,246 confirmed cases; 1,594,365 individuals have been tested and 3,831 Hoosiers have died.
Elkhart County Health Officer Dr. Lydia Mertz sent out a statement shortly after Thursday’s numbers were released.
“The increase in the number of new cases we are seeing is very troubling,” she said. “Our hospitals are already at capacity. Please stay six feet from people not in your household, wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose in public, and wash hands frequently. If you are exposed to someone who has tested positive, or if you have any symptoms, even mild ones, please get tested.”