NewsHealth / November 8, 2020

Coronavirus: Indiana Hits 200,000 Cases, Voters Disenfranchised By Late COVID-19 Diagnosis

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Poll workers were armed with PPE and cleaning supplies for the election. But in the two weeks leading up to Election Day, more than 37,000 Hoosiers tested positive for COVID-19.  - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Poll workers were armed with PPE and cleaning supplies for the election. But in the two weeks leading up to Election Day, more than 37,000 Hoosiers tested positive for COVID-19.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 259 additional confirmed deaths over the last week, bringing the state’s total to 4,383 – the largest reported in a single week since early May. 

After the state reported more than 4,000 new cases for the first time in a single day on Thursday – one week after it passed 3,000 cases for the first time – it surpassed 5,000 new cases on Saturday. In the last week, the state has also reported more than 28,000 new COVID-19 cases, with more than 210,000 total confirmed cases. 

The state has reported more than 2,000 cases every day since Oct. 22.

Sunday’s seven-day moving average is 374 percent higher than the rolling average when Indiana began Stage 5. The state’s hospital census has also set new highs for the last five days, with more than 2,000 Hoosiers hospitalized with COVID-19 since Nov. 5. The state began reporting hospital census data on April 8.

Here are your statewide COVID-19 headlines from last week.

Indiana Hits 200,000 Confirmed Cases, Outpaces Increase In Testing

Indiana crossed 200,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases as it set yet another record-breaking daily case total Friday. While the number of tests the state has done has steadily increased, new cases outpace it. 

It’s hard to compare Indiana’s cases and testing from March to November – it’s not an apples to apples comparison because of the nationwide struggles to expand testing capacity. 

But it is a more fair comparison from now to Sept. 6 – when the state crossed 100,000 confirmed cases. From that point, the increase in the number of new cases cannot be explained solely by the increase in the number of tests – testing only increased by about 48 percent.

Since moving to Stage 5 on Sept. 26, Indiana’s seven-day average has increased by 374 percent – more than quadrupling the average. In that same time period, 44 counties have more than doubled their number of reported cases. 

Indiana Reports More Than 4,000 New Cases, Sets 10th New Record Since Moving To Stage 5

Indiana broke another new record for daily reported cases of COVID-19, with 4,462 reported Thursday. The state has had more than 2,000 cases every day since Oct. 22. 

It's the 12th such record the state has set since moving to Stage 5 at the end of September and the fifth in just the last two weeks.

During his weekly press conference Wednesday, Gov. Eric Holcomb repeated that he doesn’t believe reimposing statewide COVID-19 restrictions will effectively curb the virus’s spread.

All IN: Indiana's Second Wave

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Indiana continues to rise, as the state goes through its second wave.

All IN did an in-depth update on the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic with two public health experts. How are state officials responding to this second wave? And what can we learn by looking at how the virus is spreading?

Some Voters Disenfranchised By Last Minute COVID-19 Diagnosis

Last minute COVID-19 diagnoses left some Hoosier voters frustrated and unable to vote.

Jose Travez from Marion County is one of those voters. He said he planned to vote early on Monday, his day off. But he got a call on Sunday, the weekend before elections, that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Travez said he began to show symptoms that day as well. He said he immediately called anyone he could think of that he had been in contact with, and then it hit him: He would also not be able to vote.

Travez said he tried to look for other voting options between fever bouts, but he said it was too little, too late. He said he felt as if he had taken the responsible steps: He had a plan to vote, and now that plan wouldn’t work. He didn’t know what else to do.

“I wasn’t expecting to be in a situation like this,” Travez said.

Holcomb: Big Election Victory Won't Impact COVID-19 Decision-Making

Gov. Eric Holcomb said his substantial reelection victory will have no impact on his decision-making around COVID-19.

Holcomb faced sharp criticism from both his political left and right over his handling of the pandemic. But he was also re-elected by a huge margin.

Holcomb said politics didn’t drive his decisions before the election and won’t now.

“The only campaign that we’re running here is a campaign to try to save lives and get through this,” Holcomb said.

GOP Attorney General Candidate Todd Rokita Has COVID-19

Republican Attorney General candidate Todd Rokita tested positive for COVID-19, his campaign announced Tuesday.

The former congressman and Secretary of State experienced symptoms and got tested after he was informed he had been exposed to the virus. He watched election results at home with his family as he quarantined.

The campaign said Rokita’s exposure did not come through campaign activities. And it said he’s doing well.

Rokita defeated Democratic candidate and former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel for the attorney general’s race. 

As Indiana's COVID-19 Numbers Climb, So Do Reported Cases In Schools

Schools have reported more COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, at the same time Indiana is seeing a spike in cases statewide. 

Indiana has reported more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases every day since Oct. 22. 

Two weeks ago, state data showed 915 new cases reported among teachers, students and staff. This past week, schools reported 1,324 new cases. That brings the total number of COVID-19 cases reported in schools – and subsequently reported to the state – to 6,337.

Several school corporations have temporarily gone back to remote learning, with plans to reevaluate their status after two weeks.

Indiana Small Business Group Welcomes State Election Results; Push For More Federal Aid

An Indiana advocacy group sees opportunities for the legislature to support small businesses following statewide election results.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Indiana chapter saw their endorsed candidates win re-election, including Gov. Eric Holcomb and Speaker of the House Todd Huston (R-Fishers).

NFIB Indiana state director Barbara Quandt said the statewide results show a promising future for Hoosier small business owners in the upcoming Indiana legislative session, especially when looking to a future after the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think the people who have been reelected are pro-small business for the most part,” said Quandt. “My hope is they'll all work together well. And the legislature has shown a willingness to do what's right for the state and keep a steady hand, if you will.”

Quandt said one of her organization’s major legislative priorities this upcoming session is protecting small businesses from COVID-19 liability.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.

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