COVID-19 Update from Gov. Eric J. Holcomb

As anticipated, Governor Holcomb announced that Indiana will remain at “Stage 4.5” for at least the next 2 weeks (through the end of July). He addressed concern with rising numbers in Indiana and across the country and mentioned that Indiana has seen an average of 154 deaths from flu each year over the past 5 years compared to more than 2500 deaths so far from COVID-19. There are currently 881 COVID patients in the hospital compared to a low of 595 on June 26th (a 48% increase) over those 18 days).

There are some changes coming in a new Executive Order (not yet available, but available soon) that will require anyone hosting an event with more than 250 people to get advanced approval of a plan from their local health department. This requirement includes any event including, but not limited to: fairs, festivals, parades, graduations, outdoor concerts, outdoor movies (other than drive-ins) family reunions, conferences, or weddings. The plan must address:

  • Capacity limits
  • Guest information
  • Staff & volunteer screening
  • Social distancing measures
  • Increased sanitation
  • Face coverings
  • Compliance

There were many questions today about reopening schools. The Governor emphasized that these should be local decisions based on what is happening in that community, physical structure of the schools, etc. The IN State Dept. of Health has a staff member dedicated to working with local schools leaders along with local health departments and the Department of Education to help school systems develop plans that meet their needs. The Governor also mentioned his pleasure at seeing Indiana colleges – public and private – act early to plan, work with local officials, and put protocols in place.

Dr. Box talked about the supply chain for PPE and testing materials tightening up. The state did activate the Indiana Lab Testing Network last month that includes Lilly, Indiana hospitals, and a couple of labs to try to keep results moving faster, but supply chains are strained causing delays here and throughout the country. Currently most tests in Indiana come back within 3-5 days. The strike teams that work to address breakouts are generally able to get results in 48 hours.

Applications for rental assistance opened on Monday at www.indianahousingnow.org. More than 11,000 Hoosiers have already applied for assistance that will be a maximum of $2000/household to pay for past due rent, late payments, or ongoing rent payments up to $500 per month. The first round of payments is expected to go out the first week of August.

New Information and Updates:

  • Since last Wednesday’s report, the state has reported 4,307 new positive cases (49,063 total) and 53 new deaths (2,592 total). There were 50,732 new tests administered (586,589 total with an overall 9.1% positive rate) according to the ISDH dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov as of midnight last night. There are an additional 193 probable Covid-19 deaths (X-Ray, CT, symptoms & exam consistent w/Covid-19, but no positive test received).
  • Anyone interested in looking at detailed data about hospitalizations (available in county and regional levels) and other COVID-19 related metrics should look at: www.regenstrief.org/covid-dashboard
  • There are 200+ testing sites open across the state – each operator has their own requirements about whether an individual must be symptomatic or have underlying conditions and the locations move based on needs and building requirements. The state operated sites are free and open to anyone who wants it regardless of symptoms or risk; register in advance for those by calling 888-634-1123 or at https://lhi.care/covidtesting. If there are no spots available via advance registration, walk ins are available.

Resources & Reminders: