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

While the Governor announced last Wednesday that he would not be doing “regular” updates as he has since the pandemic hit Indiana in mid-March, he did participate in a 15-minute briefing with Dr. Box (Director, IN State Dept. of Health) where they shared information, but did not take reporter questions. Just prior to the Holcomb/Box briefing, Dr. Box did a press availability with Dr. Weaver (Chief Medical Officer, IN State Dept. of Health).  Here are the vitals from those conversations.

As of last night, there are 1,081 Hoosiers hospitalized with COVID-19. This is the 3rd straight day over 1000 – besides one day in early August with 1009 patients, we haven’t had more than 1000 in the hospital since May 31st. Unfortunately again today, SW Indiana was highlighted as being a “hot spot” for the state with increased numbers of cases and hospitalizations – specifically with contact tracing locally that has gone back to “bars/restaurants, athletic events, weddings, etc.” While Dr. Box reminded us that hospitalization #’s today are hard to compare to earlier in the year – hospitals are better prepared now, have better treatment options, and are also using ICU beds for non-COVID patients at numbers that they weren’t in the Spring – it is still concerning to know that some communities are running very close to capacity.

Of the eight “orange” counties (indicating moderate to high community spread) on the state map, six of those are in SW Indiana. Regional county, Pike, is not in “red” indicating high community spread. The rest of Indiana is “blue” or “yellow” indicating low community spread. As Mayor Winnecke and other elected and community leaders have said, please:

  • Stay home if you don’t feel well or if you’re waiting for test results
  • Wash/sanitize hands frequently
  • Wear your mask
  • Get your flu shot
  • Keep practicing social distance
  • Minimize your time in public spaces (get takeout to support local businesses!)
  • Keep your social circle small

Everyone wants Indiana to remain in Stage 5 and keep as many businesses and community events as open as possible, but Dr. Box reiterated that “being in Stage 5 is not back to normal – we need to wear masks, keep social distancing, and control large events.”  Both Holcomb and Box indicated that many of the cases can be traced to single events where people weren’t wearing masks. Holcomb repeated, ”no matter the size of your event or what type of event it is – wedding, funeral, football game – the odds of spreading the virus go up when we let our guard down. We all have an impact on speeding up or slowing down the spread.” 

You can see three specific types of data sets on the state’s coronavirus website. Once on the site if you scroll down to the blue bar that says “Indiana COVID-19 Data Report,” you can choose “Dashboard” (for general statewide data and county-level maps), “LTC” (for data about Long Term Care facilities), or “School” (for K-12 school data).  Most of the Dashboard data is updated daily while the LTC and School information is updated once each week.

There are more than 250  testing sites across the state. There is plenty of testing capacity available and Dr. Box encouraged Hoosiers to get tested anytime you have symptoms or have been exposed. Getting the results is key to slowing the spread.  It goes along with responding to contact tracers if/when they contact you.  

New Information and Updates:

  • Since last Wednesday, the state has reported 8,208 new positive cases (128,227 total), 95 new deaths (3,500 total), 61,067 new individuals tested (1,440,917 total), and 153,758 new tests administered (2,220,232 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 227 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. As of September 30th, the positivity rate for unique individuals is 8.9% since the beginning of testing and is 9% for the 7 day rate ending 9/30. The positivity rate for ALL tests administered  (comparative measure to most other states) is 5.8% from the beginning of testing and 5% for the 7-day rate ending on 9/30.
  • 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 10/4, SW IN counties are all orange (moderate to high community spread) except Pike, which is red (high community spread), though it is noted that Pike and Warrick are “flagged due to a large number of weekly cases being attributable to congregant settings.” All other counties in Indiana are yellow (low to moderate community spread) and blue (minimal community spread) except for Grant and Henry Counties that join us in orange.  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 9/30 are: Gibson 11.9%, Posey 11.7%, Vanderburgh 6.1%, Warrick 7.2%, and Spencer 7.9%.  You can find the county-level information by choosing the “Positivity” tab above the map of Indiana on the state dashboard.

Resources & Reminders:

To find a resource for Addiction Recovery, go to: www.in.gov/recovery/