Gov. Eric Holcomb addressed state shutdown rumors today in his weekly virtual press conference.
According to the governor, there have been widespread rumors that a statewide shutdown was going to be announced, as well as an announcement that schools would be going 100-percent virtual. Holcomb said those rumors were “100-percent false.”
“I want to ask folks to keep in mind in the future that wherever those sources are to discount them because they’re simply misleading people, and the unfortunate thing is it’s affecting people’s daily lives and the decisions that they make and not helpful, counterproductive. And we’ll address those as they come forward when we see those things making their way into the public conversation,” he said.
But what’s not a rumor, the newly-reelected governor said, was that Indiana cases of COVID-19 were rising. Today, a record 3,756 new cases of the virus were reported, and 1,897 Hoosiers currently are hospitalized with the virus.
Dr. Kristina Box, the commissioner of the department of health, pointed out some key statistics:
- Only two states aren’t experiencing increasing cases
- Indiana’s positivity rate has risen to 8.7 percent, up from 3.9 percent on Sept. 16
- Between Sept. 25 and Oct. 25, there was a more than 200-percent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases
- Hospital admissions are at the highest level since the start of the pandemic
- The number of daily hospital admissions topped 200 in a single day recently
- Hospitals are facing the “highest patient load yet”
- 701 Hoosiers died of COVID-19 in October. Of those, 551 were people age 70 and older, while 21 deaths were under age 50. Most of those deaths occurred within the last two weeks of October.
- Hoosiers are facing longer wait times to get tested for COVID-19
The state also was alerted by the federal government to expect a shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine around the middle of this month. However, the exact date and number of vaccines were uncertain.
“There are a lot of things we don’t know or we’re uncertain about,” Box said. “We don’t know for certain when we’ll receive our first vaccine or when we’ll have enough vaccine to immunize every Hoosier who wants the vaccine. We also have rigorous review procedures in place where the state will look at the vaccine before it’s deployed for use. We also don’t know how these different vaccines will be and how much protection they will provide. We don’t know how many Hoosiers will want these initial vaccines, but what we do 100 percent know based on multiple lines of evidence and support is that social distancing, wearing your mask, and good hand hygiene decrease the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.”