Indiana Legislative Update – COVID-19 Briefing

Earlier today, IN Department of Health leaders provided the first COVID-19 briefing in more than a month. Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver noted that the “notable increase in the delta variant” in Indiana led to the decision to share information on COVID and answer questions from reporters. The statewide positivity rate had dropped to 2.1% in late June and is now at 3.2% with hospitalization numbers creeping back up after a steady decline through June.

Some of the main takeaways from today’s conversation include:

  • Healthy, vaccinated people do not need to wear a max, but if you are not vaccinated – or if you are, but are at-risk or  are immunocompromised – you should wear a mask indoors around other people
  • There are no statewide restrictions in place (even for schools). Local leaders are encouraged to keep an eye on regional activity and take action as needed for schools and other community activities.

Other items of interest:

  • Four long-term care/nursing home facilities have experienced outbreaks of the delta variant (one of those in Gibson County). Cases and deaths in those facilities have been among residents who either weren’t vaccinated or were only partially vaccinated
    • IN vaccination rate for long-term care residents is 79.31% (middle of the pack compared to other states), but only 49% of long term care staff are vaccinated (10th worst in the US)
  • There have been a few breakthrough cases of COVID in those who are fully vaccinated; but among those hospitalized with breakthrough cases, the median age is 81.
    • Since January 18th (1st day anyone was fully vaccinated): .095% of those vaccinated have been diagnosed with COVID, .005% have been hospitalized, and .002% have died. Full breakthrough data here.
    • They see this as further proof that the vaccines are extremely effective at preventing serious symptoms, hospitalizations, and deaths
  • The state is still updating the color-coded county-by-county map each week. Currently there are 75 Blue Counties (low community spread) 16 Yellow Counties (moderate community spread) and 1 Orange County (Warren – moderate/high spread)
    • Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh & Warrick Counties are all currently rated Yellow after being Blue for several weeks
  • While they understand the concern about myocarditis may be one reason that people are not getting vaccinated, both Drs. believe the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks associated and shared this information as part of their reasoning.

Revisiting the updated data and resource areas that we actively watched through the winter:

  • Today, the State reported 400 new positive cases (757,062 total), 5 new deaths (13,487 total), 2,357 new individuals tested (3,600,537 total), and 13,053 new tests administered (10,944,618 total). There are an additional 427 probable Covid-19 deaths (symptoms & exam consistent w/Covid-19, but no positive test received).  All of this is on the ISDH dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov.
  • The positivity rate for ALL tests administered is 8.4% from the beginning of testing and 3.2% for the 7-days ending on 07/02. The positivity rate for unique individuals is 21% since the beginning of testing and is 6.9% for the 7 days ending 07/02 (rates trail by 7 days to account for lagging reports).
  • The color-coded county metrics (combines: new cases per 100,000 people in the last week and 7-day positivity rates) updated Wednesday has Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh & Warrick Counties in yellow (moderate community spread) recognizing the uptick in both number of cases and positivity rate from the week before. 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. Currently, SW Indiana rates as of 07/02 are: Gibson 11.5%, Posey 8.3%, Vanderburgh 6.9%, Warrick 7.9%, and Spencer 1.1%. You can find the county-level information by choosing the “Positivity” tab above the map of Indiana on the state dashboard.
  • The Vaccination Dashboard shows that through 07/08, 2,858,244 Hoosiers are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This is 49.1% of Hoosiers over the age of 12 fully vaccinated and SW IN is above average with 51.39% of residents in Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh & Warrick fully vaccinated. More than 75% of Hoosiers over the age of 65 are now fully vaccinate.
  • There are 500+  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.
  • You can see any of the Governor’s Executive Orders here