Indiana health officials on December 29 advised that the number of COVID-19 cases is likely to increase in the coming two months as the omicron variant spreads across the state.
The health leaders urged residents to be vaccinated, stay clear of crowds, and wear masks at all times in public.
According to a report, they did not impose any new restrictions.
The virus has already taken the lives of over 18,000 Hoosiers.
The alerts were issued just minutes before the Indiana State Department of Health released its latest COVID report, revealing 7,967 new cases. This is the most number of cases in the daily report in more than an entire year.
“We are once again facing a very bleak situation with this pandemic,” said Dr. Kris Box, Indiana state health commissioner, during a media briefing. “…Our health care workforce is depleted, physically and mentally, as are our public health workers.”
Box shared that hospitals in Indiana are almost or are over capacity, and there are long waiting times in emergency rooms. The COVID-19 count is at its highest level over the course of the year, with 3,058 patients being treated for hospitalization as of Monday (December 27), the highest since December 22, 2000.
The number of patients admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 has risen nearly 700% since June, she added.
Box said she is expecting to witness a “very steep rise” in omicron cases in the coming 4-8 weeks.