COVID-19 Weekly Update from Gov. Eric J. Holcomb

The Governor opened by reflecting on the Thanksgiving holiday and how he is “encouraged by all those who are doing more than they were prior. They are putting others above self. I can’t say or do it enough that all of those good actions add up. We’ve seen our 7-day positivity rate tick down over the last four days. It’s too early to say it’s a trend and we have a long way to go, but we can attribute it to more and more Hoosiers recognizing the strain on our health care systems and doing all we can to reduce the spread.” He acknowledged that the number of people hospitalized continues to rise along with daily hospital admissions, and encouraged Hoosiers to have the wherewithal to get through the next few weeks and months before we get to the light at the end of the tunnel when vaccines and therapeutics are more widely available.

The work by state agencies to check in on businesses and organizations was briefly highlighted. One example is that the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission has made 1569 unannounced visits since October 19th. Of those, only 47 were found not to be in compliance. Each received educational visits and verbal warnings.

From recent calls to serve, 4300 individuals have stepped up to serve in long-term care facilities, including 752 retired healthcare professionals, 290 healthcare students, and 3312 active healthcare practitioners who are offering to work in addition to their current role. The Students Step Up 2 Serve program announced last week has seen 250 college students express interest with 62% offering to help at least 2-3 shifts per week.

Finally, leaders from the IUPUI Fairbanks School of Public Health reported on their most recent learnings from the statewide COVID-19 prevalence study they are doing in conjunction with the IN State Dept. of Health. It is of note that while many other states are working to conduct these studies, Indiana is the only state to have conducted a statewide, random sample study and esp. to be in the 3rd round of testing. Some of the most significant findings include:

  • Approximately 40% of infected individuals never experience symptoms (aka: asymptomatic). For younger populations that percentage is likely closer to 60%.
  • As of November 19th, approximately 10.6% of Hoosiers have been infected by COVID-19.
  • If the virus was allowed to spread to the 70% infection rate needed for herd immunity without a vaccine, at least an additional 13,000 Hoosiers would die.
  • The probability of death from COVID-19 by age *excluding nursing home cases & deaths* is:
Age GroupInfection Fatality RatioObserved Death Rate
Less than 30 years0.005%1 in 19,531 infected
30-49 years0.04%1 in 2,471 infected
50-64 years0.44%1 in 224 infected
65+ years2.31%1 in 43 infected
Total0.26%1 in 384 infected
  • This data supports the theory that the biggest risk from rising infections in young people (who may never exhibit symptoms or know that they are positive) is the infection – and ultimate death – of such a high percentage of our older population

New Information and Updates:

  • Since last Wednesday, the state has reported 44,299 new positive cases (312,521 total), 402 new deaths (5,232 total), 136,939 new individuals tested (2,126,395 total), and 370,145 new tests administered (4,038,194 total). All of this information is on the ISDH dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov. There are an additional 266 probable Covid-19 deaths (X-Ray, CT, symptoms & exam consistent w/Covid-19, but no positive test received).
  • The state shares 2 different positivity rates; both trail by 7 days to allow for a full reporting of tests that lag coming in. The positivity rate for unique individuals is 14.7% since the beginning of testing and is 21.4% for the 7 day rate ending 11/18. The positivity rate for ALL tests administered (comparative measure to most other states) is 7.1% from the beginning of testing and 11.2% for the 7-day rate ending on 11/18.
  • Under the color-coded county metrics that combine new cases per 100,000 people over the last week and the 7-day positivity rates through 11/22, SW IN counties are among 74 of Indiana’s 92 counties that are all orange (moderate to high community spread). You can find these metrics and how they are calculated by choosing the “County Metrics” tab above the map of Indiana on the state dashboard.
  • The state also publishes county-level 7-day positivity rates for all tests given (not unique individuals). SW Indiana rates as of 11/18 are: Gibson 13.8%, Posey 10.6%, Vanderburgh 7%, Warrick 8.8%, and Spencer 8.8%.  You can find the county-level information by choosing the “Positivity” tab above the map of Indiana on the state dashboard.
  • There are nearly 280  testing sites across the state. You are encouraged to get tested if you have any symptoms or are have had contact with someone who has tested positive.
  • There are three specific types of data sets on the state’s coronavirus website; scroll down to the blue bar that says “Indiana COVID-19 Data Report.” From there, you can choose “Dashboard” (general statewide data and county-level maps), “LTC” (data about Long Term Care facilities), or “School” (K-12 school data).  Most of the Dashboard data is updated daily while the LTC and School information is updated once each week.

Online Resources Available: