Indiana’s virus cases, hospitalizations return to May levels

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s new cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 have rebounded to levels last seen in May as an especially contagious coronavirus variant continues spreading, state data show.

After falling below 200 in late June, Indiana’s seven-day weekly average of new coronavirus cases reached 708 on Sunday. That’s the highest weekly average since May 20, when Indiana averaged 770 new cases, according to Tuesday’s update to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

Tests conducted this month on a sample of Indiana’s coronavirus cases show nearly 87% of those were the delta variant, a mutated coronavirus that spreads more easily than other versions, the dashboard shows.

Indiana’s COVID-19 hospitalizations rose Monday to 735, the highest level since 746 people were being treated on May 28. The state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations peaked in late November, when more than 3,400 Hoosiers were hospitalized.

As of Tuesday, more than 2.93 million Hoosiers age 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. That’s equal to 50.4% of Indiana’s population eligible to receive a vaccine.

But the number of Hoosiers getting vaccinated weekly against COVID-19 has fallen from a peak of about 56,000 per week in early April to just under 6,900 per week as of Tuesday.

The Indiana Department of Health said Tuesday that another 15 Hoosiers had died from COVID-19 over several days. Indiana’s pandemic toll now stands at 13,980 deaths, including confirmed and presumed coronavirus infections.

2 teenage boys charged in fatal shooting of Terre Haute girl

TERRE HAUTE. Ind. — Two teenage boys have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old girl in Terre Haute, authorities say.

Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said he has requested a 15-year-old’s case be waived to adult court in connection with the slaying Friday of Chloe Carroll of Terre Haute.

The boy faces initial charges of murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery, criminal recklessness and possession of a firearm without a license, police have said. He has been logged into the Vigo County Juvenile Center, the Tribune-Star reported Tuesday.

A 17-year-old also was arrested, on charges of possession of a firearm by a child, possession of marijuana, theft of a firearm, and unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle, police said.

First responders found Carroll in the rear passenger seat of a parked vehicle early Friday morning. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Indiana issues air quality alert for 4 regions Tuesday

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is forecasting high ozone levels Tuesday for four regions in the central, southern and western parts of the state.

The alert covers Clark and Floyd counties in southeastern Indiana; Vigo, Carroll and Tippecanoe counties in west central Indiana; Marion, Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Delaware, Hamilton, Hendricks, Howard, Madison and Shelby counties in central Indiana; and Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties in southwestern Indiana.

Anyone sensitive to changes in air quality may be affected when ozone levels are high. Children, the elderly, and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.

Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather combine with vehicle exhaust, factory emissions, and gasoline vapors. It can irritate lungs and can cause coughing and breathing difficulties for sensitive populations.

IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone by driving less; not refueling vehicles or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.; and conserving energy by turning off lights and setting thermostats to 75 degrees or above.

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