INDIANAPOLIS — More than 500 new cases of the COVID-19 virus were confirmed in Indiana on Thursday, the same day the U.S. Labor Department reported that nearly a third more Indiana workers filed initial unemployment claims compared to the previous week.

The number of new claims totaled 31,885 during the week of June 20, compared to an adjusted number of 24,017 the week before, the department reported. That’s an increase of 7,868.

The total number of Indiana workers receiving jobless benefits during the week ending June 13 fell by about 5,000 to 206,265 from 211,255 the week before, the department said.

Nationally, the number of laid-off workers who applied for unemployment benefits declined slightly, to 1.48 million last week, the 12th straight drop and a sign that layoffs are slowing while still high.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Indiana typically saw fewer than 3,000 initial unemployment claims per week. After peaking at more than 146,000 initial claims in late March, weekly claims had been declining during the pandemic until increasing the past three weeks, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.

Thursday’s report also showed that an additional 17,439 Indiana residents applied for jobless benefits nationally last week under the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for self-employed and gig workers. That was up from 12,016 new claims the previous week. The state reported 209,080 people were receiving continued Pandemic Unemployment Assistance as of June 6, up from 117,441 the prior week.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits. Those include the self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and workers for certain religious entities.

The Indiana State Department of Health on Thursday announced 523 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and 9 more have died.

That brings to 43,655 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus and to 2,394 the number of Hoosiers confirmed to have died. Another 192 probable deaths have been reported.

The state total includes 502 cases and 25 deaths in La Porte County; 635 cases and 36 deaths in Porter County; 1,740 cases and 59 deaths in St. Joseph County; 4,596 cases and 238 deaths in Lake County; and 63 cases and 3 deaths in Starke County, according to ISDH.

To date, 444,252 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 431,883 on Wednesday. Today’s totals include the addition of 3,563 historical negative tests from a laboratory that recently began reporting negative results. There have been 6,839 tests reported in La Porte County.

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