INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana officials refused Tuesday to identify nursing homes around the state where coronavirus outbreaks have occurred, even as they disclosed that at least 43 more deaths linked to those facilities have happened in the past week.

The 162 deaths from 74 facilities that the state health commissioner said had occurred represent nearly 26 percent of Indiana’s 630 COVID-19 fatalities recorded through Monday.

Almost 70 percent of Indiana’s deaths have been among people ages 70 and older as elderly people and those with serious health troubles living in nursing homes are among the most at-risk from COVID-19 infections.

Officials had earlier this month identified some nursing homes with multiple deaths, including an Anderson facility where at least 22 patients have died.

But the health commissioner, Dr. Kristina Box, has declined in recent days to provide more than statewide totals of infections and deaths even as some states have started to release more detailed information. Box said new federal regulations require nursing homes to notify families about infections and deaths among residents and would investigate complaints about facilities that don’t comply.

“That’s where we’re going to leave that at this point,” Box said.

Testing has confirmed 1,568 COVID-19 infections at 199 facilities around the state, Box said. That’s up from 1,193 cases at 152 sites in state statistics provided last Wednesday.

Sixty-one more Indiana residents have died from COVID-19, pushing the state’s pandemic death toll to 630 as statewide coronavirus cases surpassed 12,000, state health officials said Tuesday.

The Indiana State Department of Health said the 61 new deaths it reported Tuesday occurred between April 7 and Monday.

The state agency said that another 431 Indiana residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, bringing the state’s total to 12,097, following corrections to the previous day’s total.

A total of 67,264 tests have been reported to the state health department, with the addition of another 2,641 tests the agency reported Tuesday.

The health department said in a news release that the new cases and new tests reported Tuesday were lower than expected due to a technology issue “and should not be interpreted as a decline in new infections.”

The department said the additional positive cases not included in Tuesday’s report “would be captured in the coming days and reflected appropriately.”

In Elkhart County, the number of positive cases reported by the state rose by 15 to 179, while the number of people tested rose by 46 to 1,360. The number of related deaths in Elkhart County remained unchanged at three.

Box, the state health commissioner, has said she expected the coronavirus illness peak to arrive in late April for the Indianapolis area and the first weeks of May for rest of the state.

(8) comments

fire111

Wrong again joe! The state has no legal right to disclose another persons medical records, because they have no legal right to see them! Now how about that libel thingy...def. of libel. A written defamation. def. of defamation ...the action of damaging a good reputation.

Joe King

You would be right if the facts reported were false and not true..that is libel. But when reporting facts and the truth...1st amendment wins. Not asking for personnel records or names, just if and infectious disease Is present. Like wheN on a cruise ship dealing with norovirus or a farm with contaminated food. You need to know so you don’t die and can warn others. If a nursing home is loosing people because of this virus and family members were unaware or notified so they can remove their loved ones before they get it...that is where the lawsuits will start....

NewsontheGo

This is ridiculous and in no way exhibits transparency. Any hot spots directly effect the surrounding community. As proven in the largest cities with the biggest outbreaks nursing homes, prisons, and certain industries having outbreaks increase overall spread in a community due to workers carrying it out into the community. By hiding the facilities where known outbreaks are occurring it is impossible to know which ones need support with required PPE and on site help with increased staff. This is all vital and necessary information. Indiana needs to do better or maybe they need to be profiled by Rachel Maddow and MSNBC.

sidearm

Rachel Madcow, really?

FlyNavy

So much for transparency. Why not release the names of the facilities not complying with the regulations at least? Why not list the number of infections/fatalities for each facility? Are they worried people won't want to send their loved ones to a place with a high infection rate? This needs to change.

Joe King

Well that makes no sense..especially for the families with people in them....you start naming facilities, but later stop? I hope the news media look into this... if I had loved ones in a facility with dying patients I would pull them out and/or transfer...

fire111

joe... it could be libelous statements if names are stated. As of now, the state seems to be protecting themselves from legal action! Did you miss the sentence where federal rules are that the facility is charged with notifying families?

Joe King

nope, saw it...but did you miss my statement about notifying other people in the place? They notify the family of the immediate person...Not their roommate, not the next door person, etc....If there is an infectious disease killing residents, I would pull my loved one out if I knew....right now, we don't and the facility and state are not telling people...There is no hippa or libelous infraction warning people. Just another way to hide problems in the state and for big companies...who probably donate to their campaign....So much for transparency...

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