NewsHealth / October 7, 2020

Indiana's COVID-19 Numbers Getting Worse, Holcomb Stays The Course

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Gov. Eric Holcomb lifted almost all COVID-19 restrictions two weeks ago. But the state’s numbers have gotten markedly worse since then. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Gov. Eric Holcomb lifted almost all COVID-19 restrictions two weeks ago. But the state’s numbers have gotten markedly worse since then.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box says Indiana’s latest COVID-19 numbers are concerning.

The governor’s on-going position is that it’s the responsibility of all Hoosiers to help mitigate the virus’s spread.

Indiana’s rate of positive cases versus people tested has increased significantly in the last couple of weeks. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are at their highest level in four months.

But Box said much of the state is still in a low-risk position. And so she said the state is focused on talking with local governments and health departments where the spread of the virus is getting worse.

“Work individually with those particular counties or districts to make sure that we address with them those options available to them,” Box said.

Gov. Eric Holcomb didn’t take questions from the press during Wednesday’s COVID-19 update, like he has for the last seven months.

But earlier in the day, at an unrelated event, Holcomb said the state is in a “much different place” than at the start of the pandemic. And he emphasized the need for people to be responsible.

“It’s not just the government or an individual business – that means every 6.7 million Hoosiers that are all part of this and contribute to positivity rates, etc.,” Holcomb said.

Box said people need to continue to socially-distance and wear masks out in public.

READ MORE: Do I Have To Wear A Face Mask? What You Need To Know About Indiana's Mandate

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dr. Woody Myers said it’s “imperative” for Indiana to reverse course on its COVID-19 restrictions.

Myers said the state still has time to avoid an “apocalyptic” spread of the virus that some are predicting for the fall.

Holcomb lifted almost all COVID-19 restrictions two weeks ago. Myers said he would impose a mask-wearing mandate that includes enforcement and reimpose COVID-19 restrictions – like capacity and gathering limits – across the state, with those restrictions stricter in some areas than others.

“It’s inconvenient, it’s challenging … but it’s required; it’s necessary," Myers said. "It’s what we have to do until we have immunity. And that immunity will only take place when we have a vaccine that’s safe and effective and it has been distributed.”

Myers, a former state health commissioner, says the state lifting most restrictions made people relax too much.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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