INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials added 18 more coronavirus-related deaths to Indiana’s pandemic total Tuesday as the state also reported a sharp increase in the number of people hospitalized with the respiratory infection caused by the virus.

Indiana hospitals were treating 907 patients with COVID-19 as of Monday, a jump of 72 from a day earlier and the most since early June, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Indiana’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have grown by about 50% since late June, while the seven-day average of newly recorded coronavirus infections has more than doubled during that time to about 800 cases.

Gov. Eric Holcomb cited those trends when he announced a statewide face mask mandate that took effect Monday.

Most of the new COVID-19 fatalities occurred since Thursday, pushing Indiana’s total to 2,924, including confirmed and presumed cases, since the state’s first death was recorded in mid-March, the health department said.

Indiana hospitals had 303 COVID-19 patients in their intensive care units on Monday.

That patient number was about one-third of the state’s coronavirus ICU peak in April but it’s grown by nearly 40% since the beginning of July.

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