coronavirus update for saturday

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 in Elkhart County in its daily report Friday. 

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana revenue collections for April fell nearly $1 billion short of projections and the state will soon reduce spending further to cope with the economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus outbreak, the state’s budget director said Friday.

An additional 152 Hoosiers were confirmed or presumed to have died from the coronavirus, pushing Indiana’s death toll from COVID-19 to 1,566, state health officials announced Friday.

In Elkhart County, the number of cases also continued to grow, with 23 new COVID-19 illnesses reported Friday. That’s the third-highest daily total since the outbreak began in mid-March and falls below the 27 new cases reported Thursday and 24 new cases on April 27.

The total number of positive cases in Elkhart County was at 410. No additional deaths were reported, leaving that total at 16.

State revenue collections for the month were forecast last December at just over $2.2 billion but came in $964 million under target, in part because of delayed income tax filings and the loss of all casino taxes amid social distancing steps to slow the spread of the outbreak, Cristopher Johnston, director of the state’s Office of Management and Budget, said during a news conference.

The State Budget Agency last month directed agency heads to freeze most hiring and to take action for reducing expenses.

Johnston said a memorandum will be issue soon, “setting significant spending reduction targets for agency programs.” The state also is relying on its financial reserves to help cover some of the revenue shortfalls. The state’s fiscal year ends June 30.

“Needless to say, the remainder of the fiscal year will be challenging,” Johnston said.

State health officials announced an additional 152 Hoosiers are confirmed or presumed to have died from the coronavirus, pushing Indiana’s death toll from COVID-19 to 1,566.

A total of 1,328 Hoosiers have been confirmed to have died from COVID-19, 33 more than on Thursday, the Indiana State Department of Health said. Another 119 probable deaths also have been reported. Those are deaths that state officials said doctors blame on coronavirus infections without confirmation of the illness from test results.

Contributing: Elkhart Truth staff

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