Governor delays entry into Stage 5 of recovery plan by another two weeks

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday said he would delay the state’s full entry into Stage 5 of its pandemic recovery plan for at least two more weeks.

The state will remain in Stage 4.5 of the Back on Track Indiana plan, he said, instead of jumping into Stage 5 on July 18 as scheduled.

Holcomb, during a press conference, said the extension would last at least through the end of July.

“COVID-19 is not going away any time soon,” Holcomb said.

This is the second time Holcomb has delayed entry into Stage 5 because of rising COVID-19 case counts. On July 1, he announced the implementation of Stage 4.5 from July 4-17 instead of making the full leap from Stage 4 to Stage 5.

Indiana has seen cases rise by 4,307 over the past week, an average of 615 per day. That compares with an increase of 3,032 over the previous week, an average of 433 per day.

“For the second week in a row, the number of positive cases has gone up,” Indiana State Health Commissioner Kristina Box said.

The amount of time it takes to process tests has also been lagging. OptumServe, the company the state has contracted with to provide testing, continues to not meet its contractual obligation to provide test results within a 48-hour window. Box said on Wednesday that the latest seven-day average turnaround time is 59 hours.

Box said a nationwide demand for test processing is causing the delays.

“We know residents are experiencing longer waits to get their test results and that they don’t know what to do in the meantime,” Box said. “These are external factors that are beyond our control.”

To help speed up test processing, the state formed a partnership with Indianapolis-based Eil Lilly & Co. and the Indiana Hospital Association last month to create a network of 10 labs. As part of that arrangement, Box said the state budgeted $60 million for bulk orders of reagents that the labs would purchase from the state at cost. That shipment was expected to arrive in early July. The state has spent $34 million on the orders, but Box said some orders haven’t been fulfilled yet.

“There is a purchase order out for that,” Box said. “We expected to receive it, but that has been delayed.”

Despite the rising number of positive cases and growing number of other states that have mandated mask wearing, Holcomb is still not taking that step.

“We’re not looking at the one-size-fits-all approach right now,” Holcomb said. “Won’t rule it out long-term, but we’re looking county by county.”

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has issued a mask mandate for Marion County.

Holcomb said one change to the guidelines in Stage 4.5 will be that any gathering of 250 people or more will be required to work with the local health department to develop a safety plan that addresses details such as increased sanitation, volunteer and staff screening and compliance.

This will apply to events including fairs, festivals, outdoor concerts, family reunions, conferences, weddings, parades and graduations, to name some examples.

Here are more guidelines for Stage 4.5:

– Dining room food service may continue operations at up to 75 percent capacity as long as social distancing is observed. Bar seating in restaurants may continue operations at 50 percent capacity. Bars and nightclubs may continue operations open at 50 percent capacity as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines.

– Cultural, entertainment and tourism sites may continue operations open at 50 percent capacity.

– Movie theaters, bowling alleys and similar facilities may continue operations open at 50 percent capacity.

– Amusement parks, water parks and similar facilities may continue operations open at 50 percent capacity. Reservations are encouraged to limit the number of customers at any one time.

– Raceways may continue operations open at 50 percent grandstand capacity.

– Beginning July 4, fairs, festivals and other similar outdoor events may open. Pari-mutuel horse racing and county and state fair racing may begin with 50 percent spectator capacity. Youth overnight camps may open.

– K-12 school operations may begin the 2020-21 academic year on July 1. Extra-curricular, co-curricular activities may resume July 6.

– Outdoor visitation is required at assisted living facilities and nursing homes beginning July 4 and indoor visitation may begin. Hospital visitations with precautions are encouraged.

– Hoosiers 65 and over and those with high-risk health conditions should adhere to social distancing guidelines and remain cautious. Face coverings in public places are highly recommended.

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41 thoughts on “Governor delays entry into Stage 5 of recovery plan by another two weeks

  1. gee – these are the same guidelines that lead to the upswing in cases. I wonder how keeping them in place does anything to reverse the trend?

    1. Agree….the Governor should require face masks to be warn statewide, allowing certain low-volume, Covid-19+ municipalities or governing units to petition for a waiver. Generally, our state leadership should move away from “highly recommended” to mandatory. Also, K-12 schools and state colleges and universities must have mandatory face mask policy. Exception, pending data and scientific justification, may be K-5 students. We must, as you point out, Pat A., change what we’re doing top REVERSE the trend. Generally, high marks for our Governor; however, it is time for BOLD leadership.

    1. The goal post shouldn’t be set at the number who die. The percent of positive tests to total number of tests will give a good idea of when we have effectively managed this novel virus and when we can begin to let things loosen up. We are NOT on lockdown. In the current phase 4.5, please tell me what you want to do that you can’t do? I think our phasing is quite fair and would like to see some more “meat” in it as it relates to mask wearing. Also, you reference that symptoms are mild? Where is that data? Is that age-group specific? Would like to know your source.

    2. John P. If you are under 70, the mortality rate is around 0.04 percent….BETTER than the flue in a bad year and on par for most flu seasons. That is the data. The median death age is 82.

    3. Deaths are the last indicator. First the positive cases go up, then the hospitalizations, then the deaths.

  2. An upswing in positive cases DOES NOT mean a bad trend. The state has been testing more daily for 45-60 days now. Testing was 3,000 tests daily in the early stages if they were lucky, now over 7,000 per day. MORE TESTING MEANS MORE POSITIVE TESTS, that’s the simple line that all the reports leave out. Here are the hospitalization numbers straight from yesterday’s IBJ summary:

    Indiana intensive care unit usage
    Available ICU beds: 37.8%
    ICU beds in use by COVID-19 patients: 11.3%

    Available ventilators: 84.1%
    Ventilators in use for COVID-19: 2.4%

    So, even with this great “surge” we have gone through, according to all the reports, the hospitals in Indiana are not anywhere close to capacity, and very little usage by Covid-19 patients. Understand the data, and then ask “why do they keep locking us down longer”?

    1. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NUMBERS OF TESTS!! It has to do with the number of positives in relation to the numbers of tests . This is really BASIC METRICS 101. Yes, more tests mean more positives….that isn’t material to how that relates to the ratio of positive tests to total tests. Only then can you determine if we have peaked.

    2. Okay John P., in the early days of 3,000 tests per day, the ratio of positives to testing was generally 15-18%, now in the days of 7,000 tests per day, it is generally 7-10%. So, you tell me if we have peaked. My point was, based on the reporting of cases by the media and the “surge” or “peak” that we were going through, is false. And based on the reporting, more testing “creating” more positives fits their narrative but does not properly tell the story.

    3. Rod B., in mid to late June, we were in the 3 to 4% range of positive tests to total tests. You believe that our current 7-10% positive rate is a better result than that late June? It seems to me that we have basically doubled our exposure.

  3. Rod B.: Those pesky facts, huh?! Thank you for sharing. I have been tracking those numbers form the IBJ summary for months and the story has been the same all throughout this thing! Hardly any of the ICU beds or ventilators are being used by COVID-19 patients and never have been! I’m so tired of people not looking past the Chicken Littles of the world and taking the effort to find the facts…because the MSM sure won’t tell them! Some people would just rather get angry about not being able to impose their will on everyone else. To all of those that want to panic believe the falsehoods and scare tactics, despite the facts that matter, I say to you, you are welcome to, but then I suggest you also make your own personal decision to hide out and leave the rest of us alone.

    1. MG so your point is what? First, Greg M is correct. I started tracking this percentage at the very beginning and the percents are as he indicated. All you have done is indicate that you’ve been tracking them “for months”. This is historical data that can easily be confirmed; however, since I know what I have been doing religiously, I will tell you that the numbers of positive tests have doubled. As for you talking about ICU beds as some indicator of severity, I’ll accept that point…weak as it is. if you know why that metric is measured, it is due to the fact that it represents our ability to adequately treat patients who may need ICU. And also, don’t challenge me on “finding the facts” and then refer to science and FACTS as falsehoods and scare tactics. By doing so, you have exposed yourself as a person who, apparently, is wiser than the rest of us, braver that the bravest of us and, given your admonition that we make our own “personal” decision to hide out and leave you alone…you have represented yourself as derelict as any American could be in showing indifference for the health and welfare of our fellow man. And, for the record, MG, your freedoms come with responsibilities and your post would indicate that you see them more as entitlements. I take the scare tactics and falsehoods seriously and will wear a mask for you, MG. I know you could care less about me and, apparently any loved one that you have exposed to your irresponsible, unAmerican exercise of your so-called personal decisions.

    2. M.G. I’m with you. This is media driven. the CDC is in on it otherwise the President would not have made his recent change for the reporting agency. Get the facts about the masks from authorities not the Mayor of Indianapolis and in other cities or Governors. They could not be doing any research only listening to people who believe everything the media drones on about. Check out this information from the Assn. of American Physicians and Surgeons. I believe they know what they are talking about over all others. And don’t stop your research with them, seek facts not fiction.

  4. .79% of the state has or has tested positive (with a CDC reported 3% false negative-see more info below)
    .0384% of the state has died from C-19
    12% of the ICU beds are in use for C-19
    2.7% of the ventilators are in use for C-19

    Of the 53,370 cases of C-19 in the state 10+% where or are in Long Term Facilities
    Of the 2592 deaths from C-19 in the state 48% of the deaths were in Long Term Facilities

    “When the nasal turbinate swab test is performed correctly by a medical professional, the accuracy is similar to tests for influenza,” Dr. Procop (director of virology at Cleveland Clinic) says. According to the CDC, the sensitivities of the Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests (RIDTs) are approximately 50% to 70%.

  5. And, take the number of deaths from nursing homes and prisons (35-45%) out of the equation and you get an even lower death rate per capita of people not confined.

  6. Thanks again Bernard, Rod B and MG.

    There is a reason for no closed data sets and the continued blur of information. The fact that healthcare providers can’t even get honest clean data is embarrassing. Surgeons everyday are questioning all the testing information while doing their best to support patients using their best judgement because the CDC is a joke. Facility protocols for care are all over the map.

    The CDC combining viral tests with antibody tests: garbage in, garbage out. Indiana “COVID focused hospital sites” very quiet.

    It’s a narrative of control, media and career politician hype.

    Now speculation is driving families to be forced to not let kids go back to school.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics “strongly advocates for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present at school.”

    Indianapolis – Washington Township, Atlanta, San Diego, etc. – no that doesn’t fit our narrative!

    MSNBC interviews 6 Pediatricians across the country and they all say “absolutely kids back to school”… News anchors stunned.

    We have politicians asking the Health Department in Indiana to “police” mask wearing while the police or Indianapolis have major issues with record homicide levels and handling riots on protests with kit gloves.

    For every “google study” someone shows of masks helping, I can show an actual study of how they harm healthy people and especially children.

    So Karen’s with the puppy dog germ rags losing their minds on the Next Door app or Facebook after typing comments in IBJ…stay home. Quarantine yourself and your world. That will keep you “safe.”

    In the meantime let’s have the healthy, careful, and common sense leaders get to work, get society outside the hype bubble back to the American way, and rid the TV of all the panic news because people are tired of others imposing blasphemous control.

    1. What a load of nonsense. This is what the problem is.

      Most all other countries in the world have this under control. They’re sending their kids back to school and resuming live sports because they have so few cases per capita. They’re doing that because they listen to the scientists and do what they advise. Are they perfect? No, because that’s how science works, you learn as you go. They know more about COVID now than they did 2 months ago, and they’ll know a lot more 2 months from today.

      But in America, and the other countries with crummy leadership, we don’t listen to science. We did our own thing, because we’re America and doesn’t the virus know it’s in America and we want to get some food at Chili’s, besides, freedom! And it’s kicking our rear. The second lockdown is looming.

      Italy, which got their butts kicked by the virus, now has it under control. What’s our excuse? The rest of the world just laughs and shakes their head and wonder when we’re going to learn. And, they tell us to stay out of their countries entirely because we’ve done such a bad job at managing the virus. Enjoy your freedom to stay home with the wall Trump built with his bad leadership.

      If you’re still listening to the Facebook-spread nonsense around COVID-19 instead of the science, I don’t know what to tell you. America’s leadership position in the world is slipping away because we can’t be bothered to wear a mask and listen to science.

    2. Jason B and MG. I’m with you. This is media driven. the CDC is in on it otherwise the President would not have made his recent change for the reporting agency. Get the facts about the masks from authorities not the Mayor of Indianapolis and in other cities or Governors. They could not be doing any research only listening to people who believe everything the media drones on about. Check out this information from the Assn. of American Physicians and Surgeons. I believe they know what they are talking about over all others. And don’t stop your research with them, seek facts not fiction.

  7. Show us the data Joe… from multiple unbiased sources. National level, then State level.

    Because 11,000 people work at the CDC and they still can’t generate accurate, blinded, and unbiased information. We have 545 “leaders” in Congress, etc. most of which have been there for decades. Time to fire them all I’d suggest because they’ve now turned medicine and safety into politics.

  8. Old Joe, like so many of our politicians, hasn’t gotten the “all clear” from God yet. Meanwhile all the partisans are scurrying around to create the stats they need to justify their personal or political position. Every day we hear how the “science” was wrong or has been changed. Every day we hear how “positive” tests were over reported or incorrectly calculated. My personal opinion is that this whole thing has been overblown. The only math I need is the number of people dying BECAUSE OF THE VIRUS (not simply just testing positive with no symptoms) compared to the total number of people, period. That ratio is still extremely low (well under 1% I think). As long as it stays low, in my opinion, we should treat this virus no differently that any other virus or illness we run the risk of getting every day. Meanwhile, until God gives the “all clear”, I’ll post my website where you can buy my designer face coverings for multiple dollars that cost me pennies to make. Isn’t everyone in this business now? By the way, anybody got a stat on how many people testing positive were regular mask wearers? Of course not.

    1. No, deaths isn’t the only number you need. You also need the number of people who now have permanent lung damage, or heart damage, or who had strokes, or who now have cognitive issues.

      God gave us smart people to listen to, but it’s up to us to take action. Wear a mask.

    2. Are you one of those self proclaimed “smart people” Joe B. Lecturing to the rest of us. I had a “smart” person tell me that the virus is SO SMALL that the holes in a piece of regular cloth are like driving a boat across the Gulf of Mexico. We’ve gotten away from anything close to the surgical masks that were advised in March. Now you can buy a nice piece of underwear cloth with an IU or Purdue logo on it to wrap around your face. We all know your underwear cloth doesn’t stop anything from getting out, Joe B. So are you one of those “smart people” that’s waiting to hear from God on what exact day we will have defeated this horrifically deadly and virtually incurable virus that’s killing us at a whopping rate of .6%? You do realize that people are blaming everything and their kitchen sink on this virus. Why? Maybe the federal money out there being thrown around like candy. I heard a “smart person” say “it pays to have positives” when talking about test results. Now you’re finding investigators find gross overstatements of test results. I’m sure some day we can all remove our face cloths and feel confident that we won’t possibly contract this horrible virus because, hey Joe B has heard directly from God.

    3. Charles – buy a better mask. They’re out there. Also out there are better sources of information than what you’re consuming. Consider changes.

  9. Do you know how to tell the status of COVID-19 in Indiana? Did you know you can look at the same numbers the governor is using?

    Here is a great web page to tell you how things are going:

    Scroll down to the “Metrics By Day” section and in the “Poistive Cases, Deaths, Tested”, hit the “Tested” box.

    Scroll down to the “Statewide Daily Positive Test Rate“ chart, highlight the last day just before the “prelim” box.

    Any state doing well should have a “Positive Test Rate Moving Average“ LESS than 5%.
    You can even see statistics by county, so you can decide if you should or should not be heading into Greenwood or Indy to do shopping.

    To get Indiana in the LESS THAN 5% range everyone needs to do their part. Things are not normal. Social Distance. Wear a mask. Limit risky activities.

    If you don’t believe this is necessary, go on facebook and ask who knows someone that has been positive, and then ask them how long they were sick (unless they just died). You will find out that people that have symptoms are sick for a LONG time. A certain percentage of people will have long term problems, even if they were not hospitalized.

    If you don’t do Facebook and don’t believe this serious or real , the NY Times, is providing Coronavirus coverage for free.

    Indiana testing numbers are going down right now because these big national laboratories are being overwhelmed with tests from states in the South East, that are finally saying “This is real” and their hospitals are being over run.

    1. The New York Times and Facebook. Those are the sources of medical exceptionalism. All healthcare should just read their blogs and toss our peer reviewed data.

    2. D.M. you are not representing things fairly. I know at least 4 people who tested positive. None had “lingering” symptoms, nor any severe ones, and two of the four were completely asymptomatic. Your Facebook and NY Times anecdotes are all hysteria and scare tactics.

  10. Did you ever wonder why you don’t see statistics on how effective face masks are?

    It turns out doing studies on human beings with and without face masks to see how many people get infected is unethical. You might have seen studies like that in Nazi Germany, but you won’t see anything like that today.

    So, if you want to believe in some conspiracy theory go right ahead, but estimates are that masks cut down on airborne virus transmission maybe somewhere by a factor of 5. That is an 80% reduction. Even if it only is a factor of 2 (50% reduction), I would say le why the hell aren’t we doing this!!

    1. This is media driven. the CDC is in on it otherwise the President would not have made his recent change for the reporting agency. Get the facts about the masks from authorities not the Mayor of Indianapolis and in other cities or Governors. They could not be doing any research only listening to people who believe everything the media drones on about. Check out this information from the Assn. of American Physicians and Surgeons. I believe they know what they are talking about over all others. And don’t stop your research with them, seek facts not fiction.

  11. Yeah, I miss having personal control and freedom, neither of which I have with a virus out of control, because so much of the population is being fed total nonsense in their right-wing echo chamber and they refuse to listen to science. I have to wear a mask in public and can’t go out to a nice dinner with my spouse in a restaurant.

    Answer me why Germany – a country of 83 million people – had 412 cases of coronavirus on Tuesday. Italy – country of 60 million – had 169. Indiana had 435 cases Tuesday and we’re a state of 7 million, tops, and our numbers are going the wrong way in a hurry. It’s not because “we test more”. If you believe that, there’s no other way to say it, YOU ARE WRONG. That’s why they’re sending kids back to school and our kids seem more likely by the day to spend another 4 months doing e-learning.

    When the historians look back at why America fell from its position leading the world, this will be the time they point to. Turns out you actually do have to have a minimally competent person in charge of the federal government who surrounds himself with minimally competent individuals. This is a heck of a way to learn that lesson.

  12. You may want to review the “we don’t test more theory” Joe. You have yet to provide references and data while Steve sends real details. You can regurgitate info from the liberal echo chamber but many work outside of the right and left for actual science and healthcare. The USA tests almost 3x more patients than Germany, and 4x more than Italy. We are’t working with linear data so A’s ratio to B doesn’t directly correlate to C. Not to mention we have intermingled data due to inept government (tax paid) epidemiologists who want to scare everyone by putting exponential trends to information. As one of my engineering professors said, you can prove most anything if you manipulate the data enough. And that is the scary part. The checks and balances of medical leaders has been compromised and silenced by politicians with agendas on both sides. So take what you want, but this is the biggest lie since Vietnam. Sorry to break it to you. (There are many for sources, but here is one all be it biased source:

  13. According to the American Council on Science and Health (google it). The Infection Fatality Rate estimate for those 5 to 19 years old is between 0.00032 and 0.0016%. That’s not that high. Let’s just take the average of 0.00096 as the Infection Fatality Rate for school aged children. So what does that mean?

    There are 1,046,269 students in Indiana pre-k to 12 public schools. So, if we do nothing let’s say half of these kids are infected with Covid-19. That means we can expect about 502 dead kids. And that’s if only half get infected. Maybe it’s only a quarter that get infected and only 250 die or maybe its 3 quarters and 750 die. Who knows? But 502 dead kids seems like an awful lot of dead kids to me.

    Or course, this is just the dead kids. The Infection Fatality Rate is higher in other age groups and since, apparently, the big plan for most on this message board is to do nothing, that is going to translate to a lot of dead Hoosiers. But then I’m sure we’re all simply consigning others to death, not ourselves or loved ones.

    And, of course, this assumes that there is only one bad outcome when one is infected, i.e., death. But we know that’s not true. There are serious long-term health repercussions to getting Covid-19 for many people. But who cares, that’s only going to happen to someone else.

    1. Yeah, great, the kids don’t die, but they get infected. Do they live alone? Maybe mom or dad are in a high risk group, or they live with grandma. How do your numbers look now?

  14. The vaccine is the election. After November 4th, no one will give a rat’s arse about this virus, especially if Biden wins. Main stream media will bury it like they did with Ebola and H1N1 under Obama.

    Pneumonia deaths are higher YTD for all Americans under 45 than COVID19 (CDC). Pathetic propaganda. Get the kids back to school.

    1. Exactly. Want to know more alarming stats? 2.5x more kids will die in a car accident than COVID. Time to ban cars. Now let’s review alcohol, drugs, and suicide. Oh, those stopped in the news March 15th just like influenza, heart disease, cancer, etc. Kids have a better chance getting hit by lightning in their lifetime than dying of COVID.

    2. Yeah….get the kids back in school! So, Ryan, are you a school teacher? Heck, who cares about them? Get the kids back in school! They aren’t likely to die from this! And so, we lose a few teachers….are they really THAT important? And, in particular, the older teachers…you know, the ones that should have left teaching long ago….we could stand to lose a few of them, too!
      The notion of just “opening things up” and “getting back to normal” just discounts the realities associated with this novel coronavirus. It is more contagious than the flu, we have no vaccine and we are still learning and IMPROVING our treatment. Plus, for what measures we do take and what most of us try to do by wearing masks, social distancing and treating this seriously, keeps these statistics that the naysayers want to report as likely being MUCH better BECAUSE a good portion of society is doing their part. This is ridiculous. Freedoms don’t come with limitations. I am beginning to think that a lot of people here wouldn’t (or don’t) put their child in a proper safety seat. Or they don’t “buckle up” or require that of their young passengers. We don’t yell “FIRE” in a crowded building or “BOMB” when we get on an airplane. Stop making your responsibilities as an American and your lack of willingness to exercise those responsibilities become your battle cry to others to “lock down and let the rest of us get on with our lives”. Talk about unpatriotic and unAmerican…..that pretty much says it all.

  15. Spare me the both sides and conspiracy nonsense.

    It’s very simple – America is fighting the coronavirus the wrong way and we are doing the opposite of “winning”. The virus is kicking our tail. We didn’t lock down long enough because someone wants to get re-elected, we didn’t invest in the infrastructure needed to open back up, and we’re paying the price. If you can’t see that, I can’t help you.

  16. I’m not taking either side in this discussion. My numbers are from

    80+ 1,340 4,376 3,036 69.38%
    70-79 635 3,950 3,315 83.92%
    60-69 410 6,298 5,888 93.49%
    50-59 132 8,219 8,087 98.39%
    40-49 47 8,806 8,759 99.47%
    30-39 18 8,486 8,468 99.79%
    20-29 8 9,073 9,065 99.91%
    0-19 2 4,110 4,108 99.95%



    1,245 5,695 4,450 78.14% 48.46%


    15-Mar 30-Mar 91 16 5.69

    31-Mar 13-Apr 393 14 28.07

    14-Apr 22-Apr 356 9 39.56

    23-Apr 6-May 545 14 38.93

    7-May 14-May 273 8 34.13

    15-May 23-May 267 9 29.67

    24-May 30-May 129 7 18.43

    31-May 7-Jun 141 8 17.63

    8-Jun 13-Jun 94 6 15.67

    14-Jun 27-Jun 179 14 12.79

    28-Jun 14-Jul 126 17 7.41