Crusader Staff Report
About 818 residents in Gary have been infected with COVID-19 and 56 have died from the disease, according to the figures released by the mayor’s office on Tuesday, July 7.
At a virtual press conference on July 1, Gary Health Commissioner Dr. Ronald Walker said 32 Gary residents tested positive for COVID-19. Walker did not specify whether those results occurred in one day or over multiple days.
Mayor Jerome Prince said two Gary EMT workers who handled a COVID-19 patient are in self-quarantine. He said one had minor COVID-19 symptoms while the other showed no symptoms at all.
Prince also said a paramedic who displayed COVID-19 symptoms was waiting for test results. According to Prince, an off-duty Gary firefighter is in self-quarantine after being exposed to the virus by a relative.
Prince said no officers from the Gary Police Department have tested positive for the virus and none had COVID-19 symptoms as of July 1.
Prince said he is seeking two additional sites in Gary where residents can be tested for COVID-19. He said Methodist Hospital Northlake is offering drive-thru testing for residents with a doctor’s order.
Walker said the Gary Health Department will begin drive-thru testing this week at its facility at 1145 W. 5th Ave.
Gary is among several cities in Indiana that remain on edge as Indiana and many U.S. states experience an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
The increase forced Governor Eric Holcomb on July 1 to scale back plans to move the state to Phase 5. The governor instead moved Indiana to phase 4.5 from July 4 through July 17, lifting only some restrictions over the next two weeks.
“This virus is on the prowl and in some places gaining momentum, not slowing down,” Holcomb said. “Some states that reopened are now going back and closing some facilities. We don’t want to find ourselves in that situation.”
Holcomb said Phase 4.5 will be largely the same as Phase 4. Indiana will keep existing restrictions in place until at least July 18. The state will also continue its current 250-person limit on social gatherings. Since June 12, restaurants have been allowed 75 percent capacity in their dining rooms, while bars, nightclubs, bowling alleys, museums and amusement parks have been open at half capacity.
As of Tuesday, July 7, Indiana had 314 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 48,626. The state had 19 new deaths for a total of 2,524.