Overall, the Governor and Dr. Box seem pleased that the rate of spread of COVID-19 cases is steady or slowing in many communities across the state. Dr. Box did announce that 95 new testing sites will be open by October 1 across Indiana. These will be funded for the next 2 years using $30M of CARES Act money to support local health departments hosting these testing sites. There will be 9 of these sites in the ISDH Region 10 (SW Indiana).
The ISDH is still finalizing the data needed for a school dashboard, but has been able to convert their current reporting systems to prevent adding a new reporting system for schools to use. Ultimately the goal is to report data by school. If fewer than 5 cases, the numbers will be aggregated to protect privacy. The state will provide aggregate age ranges statewide. The purpose isn’t to penalize or stigmatize, but to provide information for parents and school leaders to make better decisions.
Phase 3 of the “Fairbanks Study” begins this month. This study done by ISDH and the Fairbanks School of Public Health at IU. They will be testing randomly selected individuals from across Indiana with nasal swabs for live virus and blood tests for antibodies. They plan to include children above the age of 5 in this round (no blood testing for those under age 12). If you receive a postcard or other message from ISDH or Fairbanks, please participate in the study as what is learned helps develop strategies for the next several months.
New Information and Updates:
- Since last Wednesday’s report, the state has reported 5,735 new positive cases (101,485 total), 67 new deaths (3,173 total), 65,422 new individuals tested (1,158,018 total), and 115,951 new tests administered (1,572,960 total) as some individuals get tested more than once. All of this information is on the ISDH dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov. There are an additional 224 probable Covid-19 deaths (X-Ray, CT, symptoms & exam consistent w/Covid-19, but no positive test received).
- The state now shares 2 different positivity rates; both trail by 7 days to allow for a full reporting of tests that lag coming in. The 1st is positivity based on unique individuals; it is 8.8% since the beginning of testing and is 7.2% for the 7 day rate ending 9/2. The 2nd is a positivity rate for ALL tests administered (comparative measure to most other states); it is 6.6% from the beginning of testing and 5.1% for the 7-day rate ending on 9/2.
- Under the new color-coded county metrics that combine new cases per 100,000 people over the last week and the 7-day positivity rates through 9/6, SW IN counties are: all blue (best) and yellow (good). Specifically Posey, Gibson, Pike, and Spencer are all blue while Vanderburgh, Warrick, and Dubois are all yellow. 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 9/2 are: Gibson 3.1%, Posey 2.7%, Vanderburgh 3.1%, Warrick 2.5%. You can find the county-level information by choosing the “Positivity” tab above the map of Indiana on the state dashboard.
Resources & Reminders:
- If you need to be tested for COVID-19, you can see a map of more than 200 testing sites and see the details for those near you.
- All of the Governor’s Executive Orders can be found here. In addition to the language in the EO’s, there is helpful industry-specific information in the Industry Guidelines on the “Back On Track Indiana” webpage.
- YourNextStepIN.org is a one-stop shop for those seeking unemployment insurance, childcare, healthcare, food assistance, career coaching, etc.
- The Unemployment Insurance website has up-to-date information including a regularly updated FAQ; dates for webinars posted here and a listing of thousands of available jobs at www.indianacareerconnect.com with frequently planned virtual job fairs.
- Increased funds are available for individuals seeking training through the Workforce Ready Grant program and for employers using the Employer Training Grant program.
- Small businesses and non-profits can order PPE from the state’s PPE Directory. Anyone able to make or donate PPE can contact: PPEDirectory@iedc.in.gov.
- Blood supplies continue to run dangerously low in many Indiana communities. Anyone interested in donating or scheduling a donation drive can learn more at: donation/collection in communities.
- Those needing assistance paying rent should go to: www.IndianaHousingNow.org. Those falling behind on mortgage payments should go to: www.877GetHope.org.
- Check the Wi-Fi Hotspot Map if you need internet access for work or school.
- If you haven’t done so already, complete your 2020 Census at www.my2020census.gov.
- If you or someone you know is contemplating Suicide: call 800-273-TALK, text HOME to 741741, or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Anyone experiencing Domestic Violence can get immediate help at 800-799-7233, text LOVEIS to 866-331-9474, or visit www.thehotline.org/help
- To find a resource for Addiction Recovery, go to: www.in.gov/recovery/
The IN Department of Education guidance for K-12 schools is available to the public.