Holcomb pleads with Hoosiers to keep guard up against COVID-19 as hospitalizations rise

As hospital admissions from COVID-19 across Indiana hit their highest level this week since May, Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday implored Hoosiers to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and take other steps to keep the virus from spreading.

“I just plead with everyone to do your part,” Holcomb said in an unscheduled livestream appearance with Dr. Kristina Box, Indiana’s state health commissioner.

The two reviewed Indiana’s performance in infections, hospitalizations and deaths, but did not take any questions. Earlier in the afternoon, Box and Dr. Lindsay Weaver, chief medical officer of the state health department, reviewed similar data and took questions from reporters.

On Wednesday, Indiana’s death toll from the pandemic hit 3,500. The number of people in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities crossed the 2,000 mark, with 53 new and confirmed deaths in the last week, for a new total of 2,046.

The number of people in Indiana hospitals with COVID-19 has climbed in recent weeks, and hit 1,138 on Oct. 5, the highest since May 28. The seven-day average for COVID-19 hospitalizations is at its highest since June 4. Hospitals have reported they are girding for a second surge of patients, although they don’t know how severe it will be.

It’s a critical moment for Indiana. The virus is continuing to spread, even as Holcomb last month moved the state to Stage 5 of the Back on Track recovery plan. Stage 5 essentially lifts all restrictions, except for some social distancing requirements and regulatory conditions for larger crowds.

“We are in Stage 5,” Box said. “But we still need to wear masks and practice social distancing so we can stay in Stage 5. I cannot emphasize that enough.”

She added that it will be months before a vaccine is widely available. In the meantime, the state is continuing to administer up to 20,000 tests a day and is overseeing a contact tracing program through all 92 counties.

Holcomb and Box said that with colder weather on the way, more people will be gathering inside, often in crowded spaces, giving the virus more potential to spread.

“It doesn’t matter what community you’re in, or how small or large an event,” Holcomb said. “It could be a funeral, a wedding, a football game. … We just see the odds of this virus spreading when you let your guard down.”

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11 thoughts on “Holcomb pleads with Hoosiers to keep guard up against COVID-19 as hospitalizations rise

  1. So more hospitalizations than any day since May, and today was the day to stop taking questions in public? Where are all the reports from the reporters? I have 3 grandchildren in public schools, there are 2000 school children and hundreds of school staff and teachers infected, and I would like to know which schools this is happening in and why my grandchildren are going from 2 days to 5 days without knowing the status of their schools? Governor, reporters? Who can tell me? Who can I trust? Better not answer that last one.

    1. Mary, what is the source of your numbers? “Hundreds of school staff and teachers infected”. I have not seen any breakdowns by occupation. Are school employees testing positive at a higher rate than the people that make your toilet paper and chicken nuggets? Of the “2000 school children infected” (again, please share your source), how many had symptoms beyond a cold? I’m sure a data driven person like you would know. Fortunately you are onto the dastardly plot to “use” your grandchildren to reopen. I am not aware of a school in the State that doesn’t have a virtual option for people with concerns. You could also try asking the actual school the kids attend for data, as opposed to the media and the Gov.

  2. So wearing masks for the last 3 months has not helped?
    Maybe look to Sweden and South Dekota and open things up to get this over with.
    The virus has to run its course. Science.

    1. What a joke. People on your side, like the president, are the one’s causing this massive spread because of anti-science beliefs. If the police departments across the state started charging $1000 fines for not wearing your mask in public, you’d see the numbers drop.

    2. And yet, ironically, “listen to the science” is coming from the other side. I think perhaps they mean “listen to the science that suits your agenda”.

  3. Just Worry about you and the out going mayor getting the convention center open and fans coming back to our city. and money moving again!
    QUIT micro Managing everyone!

    CLEAN UP OUR HIGHWAYS!!! Indianapolis highways are filthy dirty and dangerous with debris laying everywhere!

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