Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, along with Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box, held one of the shortest press conferences today regarding COVID-19.
Here’s a rundown of the highlights of the 15-minute conference, as given by Dr. Box.
As of yesterday, 1,081 Hoosiers were hospitalized with COVID or symptoms of COVID.
“We’re keeping a close eye on this number. Especially as we enter the flu season, we want to ensure that we don’t overwhelm our systems with flu, COVID, and other respiratory illnesses,” said Box.
Box provided an update on the BinaxNOW rapid COVID tests being sent out by the federal government. Indiana received an additional shipment of 132,000 of these tests this week which are said to provide results in just 15 minutes.
“We’re working on providing training on the use of these tests and deploying these tests to facilities where they’re needed the most. These tests can give us a quick assessment of a person who has symptoms. If they come back positive, then we feel confident that the person is ill with COVID-19. If they’re negative and the person is symptomatic, then we do recommend a PCR test because this is a much more sensitive test.”
ICU beds and ventilators
Currently 51.7 percent of ICU beds and 16.8 percent of ventilators are in use statewide.
“The majority of these are being used by people who do not have COVID-19; however we are seeing ICU bed capacity shrink in some parts of the state. Most of these areas already have smaller numbers of ICU beds available and are seeing increased need for ICU beds but not just for COVID illnesses.
“This is another data point that we are watching very closely. Our hospitals around the state have worked hard to build capacity. We wat to ensure that they preserve that capacity in the coming weeks and months,” said Box.
“Keep in mind that our temperatures outside are going to continue to drop and that we’re officially in fall, and that is going to make it harder to hold activities outdoors. As people come inside more and flu season ramps up, we need Hoosiers to be vigilant about handwashing, social distancing, and wearing masks. I know you’re tired of wearing masks and staying apart. We all have pandemic fatigue, but I keep hearing about the cases that could have been prevented if we would have just taken these simple precautions.
“COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon, and it will be months before we have a COVID vaccine that is widely available to the general public. So let’s use the tools that we have right now to keep our state open and keep Hoosiers healthy.”
The Indiana State Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard recently added school reporting to the site. Since Monday, nearly 400 more schools entered data in regard to COVID-19.
Today, 303 new positive student cases were reported, along with 59 new teacher cases and 79 staff cases. The majority of positive students are ages 10 to 19.
Gov. Holcomb holds weekly press conferences on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m.