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Indiana coronavirus updates for Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020

Saturday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

INDIANAPOLIS — Saturday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

Record week continues with 2,521 new cases, 31 deaths

The Indiana State Department of Health reported another daily record of Hoosiers testing positive for COVID-19 with 2,521 cases Saturday. Nearly 146 thousand people have tested positive in Indiana since early March.

Today’s total includes approximately 100 tests whose reporting was delayed due to a technical issue earlier this week, according to ISDH, and reflects results from 34,320 reported tests, the highest number of specimens submitted in a single day since testing began.

With 31 additional deaths reported Saturday, some occurring as far back as mid-August, Indiana has now lost a total of 3,685 people to the virus.

Another 233 probable deaths have been reported based on patients who died with COVID-19 symptoms but had no positive test is on record.

Indiana's COVID-19 infections continue at record pace

State health officials said Indiana’s daily average of new coronavirus infections has continued growing at record levels and they've also added 23 more COVID-19 deaths to the state’s toll. 

The state health department’s Friday update showed Indiana’s seven-day rolling average of newly confirmed COVID-19 infections reached 1,720. That is the highest level the state has seen during the pandemic and has more than doubled over the past three weeks. 

The 2,320 new infections reported Friday was the highest single day total, but the health department said the number was inflated by about 300 cases that weren’t previously included because of technical issues. 

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. as of 5:30 a.m. ET Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 218,500 deaths and 3.19 million people recovered.

Worldwide, there have been 39.36 million confirmed cases with more than 1.1 million deaths and 27.1 million recoveries.

RELATED: See where confirmed Indiana coronavirus cases are with this interactive map

RELATED: VERIFY: No, the CDC did not say the number of COVID-19 victims who actually died from the virus is much lower than originally reported

The real number of people infected by the virus around the world is believed to be much higher — perhaps 10 times higher in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — given testing limitations and the many mild cases that have gone unreported or unrecognized.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness like pneumonia, or death.

Trump plays down virus as he steps up pitch for second term

In the week since President Donald Trump emerged from coronavirus isolation, he has demonstrated new determination to minimize the threat of the virus that has killed more than 218,000 Americans and complicated his chances of winning another four years in the White House. 

In word and action, he is pushing an optimistic outlook at a moment when coronavirus infections are spiking in Europe and public health officials are raising alarm that the infection rate in the U.S. is climbing toward a new peak. 

In the past week he has spread misinformation about the virus, undercut the nation’s leading infectious disease expert and kept up his practice of shunning mask use.