Although one of the premier national studies regarding COVID-19 shows some positive news for Indiana, state officials are still keeping their responses measured.
On March 28, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health and Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE) projected Indiana would likely see 2,400 deaths due to COVID-19 by August 4. In its most recent analysis, the IHME projected fewer than 900 deaths.
The IHME is projecting Indiana will have a surplus of beds available for intensive care patients, saying the state will need 394 beds and it has 706. The current projections also show, for now, Indiana needing a total of more than 2,000 hospital beds, but having nearly 8,500 available.
“This is still the first quarter and we have a long way to go,” Governor Eric Holcomb said during Wednesday’s virtual news conference. “We look at a lot of numbers, we look at the entire global picture”
The IHME says Indiana is expected to see its peak of COVID-19 patients on April 14.
“It’s all about capacity and we aim to keep it,” Holcomb noted.
To date, Indiana has tested nearly 31,000 Hoosiers for COVID-19; slightly nearly 6,000 have tested positive and there have been 203 deaths due to the coronavirus.
Earlier this week, the Holcomb administration extended its “stay at home” order by two weeks announced a series of other steps to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including…
- Retail businesses that provide necessities of life may remain open but should limit the number of customers in the establishment at any given time; implement hours for elderly and other vulnerable populations, as well as limit hours of operation to restock and clean; and comply with all mitigation measures to protect employees and the public. A list of such businesses is included in the executive order.
- All other retail businesses may remain open if they restrict sales to online or call-in ordering with delivery or curbside pickup.
- Professional services should be conducted virtually or by telephone.
- All campgrounds will be closed except for those who use recreational vehicles or cabins as their primary residence. State parks remain open to daily visitors.
- Hoosiers are reminded that all public and private gatherings of any kind that include more than 10 people are prohibited.
- All employers, regardless of type, must continue to comply with the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) standards and safety and health standards established and enforced by IOSHA. IOSHA is actively accepting and investigating complaints of violations. The complaint process may be accessed at https://www.in.gov/dol/
- In addition to IOSHA investigations, Gov. Holcomb has directed the creation of a multi-agency enforcement response team, led by the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to respond to and investigate other violations of the new order. Much like the enforcement of the restaurant, bar, and nightclub executive order, this team will be charged with helping business owners comply with the order before issuing a directive to close a business.
You can hear the Governor’s virtual media briefing in the Leon-Tailored Audio above. It runs for about 58 minutes.