Indy Star: What We Learned From the State’s COVID News Conference

Indiana health officials hosted a COVID-19 press conference on Friday, days after the state topped 5,000 daily cases for the first time since January. State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said she agrees with other experts calling this late summer surge the “darkest time in the pandemic,” despite this week’s FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine.

Here’s what we learned:

  • Box called this surge the “worst” since the winter.
  • Indiana has a 10.8 percent positivity rate, much higher compared to the 2 percent positive rate at the end of June.
  • Nearly 2,200 Hoosiers are hospitalized, which is the highest number reached since January. As a result, hospitals are struggling with staffing and capacity issues. Box noted that the shortage of beds in intensive care units affects “every Hoosier in need of critical medical care.” Four out of 10 health districts, from all corners of the state, have reported using up more than 100 percent of their ICU beds.
  • Though the majority of hospitalizations are occurring among older Hoosiers, officials are also seeing an increase in the number of children being hospitalized. “To anyone who argues that COVID-19 does not impact children, I can assure you that every parent with a hospitalized child would disagree,” Box said.

Click here for the full report from Rashika Jaipuriar of the Indianapolis Star.

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