Indiana health officials: ‘Things are going to get much worse’

With the highly contagious delta variant sweeping across Indiana, state health officials warned Friday that hospitalizations from COVID-19 could grow much worse in the next month.

“Things are going to get worse if Hoosiers do not start wearing masks to prevent transmission and more Hoosiers don’t get vaccinated,” said Dr. Kris Box, the state’s health commissioner, speaking at a press conference. “We are going to see cases continue to increase, probably until right after Labor Day, and then we will see hospitalizations follow.”

Already, some hospitals are beginning to fill up, postpone non-emergency procedures and turn away ambulances from emergency rooms in high numbers.

On Thursday, Indiana University Health, the state’s largest hospital system, said it would cut elective surgeries and procedures by 50% starting Monday.

Dr. Lindsay Weaver, the state health department’s chief medical officer, echoed Box’s warning.

“I think we are fully expecting and preparing that things are going to get much worse with hospitalizations in the next four weeks,” she said.

The two pleaded with people who have not yet been vaccinated to make an appointment to do so, and asked everyone to practice safe hygiene by wearing face masks, which cuts down on the virus’ transmission.

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 rose from 2,108 on Wednesday to 2,186 on Thursday, the largest number since Jan. 23, when 2,188 people were hospitalized with the virus, the state health department reported. More than a quarter (26%) of Indiana’s intensive care unit beds are occupied by COVID patients.

“I’ve heard other medical professionals around the country state that this is the darkest time in the pandemic,” Box said. “Unfortunately, I share those sentiments.”

Only 46% of Indiana’s population was fully vaccinated as of Thursday morning, ranking it 36th among all states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Box pointed out that the vast majority of people showing up at hospitals needing treatment for COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Out of 1,300 people admitted to Indiana hospitals in recent days, only seven were vaccinated.

The surge in hospitalizations, Box said, is hurting others who cannot get care, such as cancer patients and those needing joint replacements.

“I want Hoosiers to know the decisions they are making affect others,” she said.

Yet the demand for COVID-19 testing is soaring. This week, the state health department scheduled nearly 50 mobile testing sites around the state. In the first three days, it provided more than 5,000 tests and administered more than 800 vaccines, Box said.

Local health departments in Indiana administered more than 11,000 tests this week. Statewide, across all sites, well over  200,000 tests have been administered, she said.

“Testing in particular is very much needed right now, given the increase in transmission,” Box said. “At some of our sites, we are seeing positivity rates close to 20%.”

Some of the demand is coming from students and families, who need a negative test to get back into school after showing symptoms. The state health department said it is offering local schools more test, with mobile units and rapid testing.

More than 300 National Guard troops have volunteered to help with testing around the state.

The good news, officials said, is that the Food and Drug Administration this week gave full approval for the Pfizer vaccine. Vaccine sites across the state saw a 10% increase in appointments as a result. Some immunocompromised people are now eligible for a booster shot, Weaver said.

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28 thoughts on “Indiana health officials: ‘Things are going to get much worse’

  1. I read an article today that the US will have 100,000 more deaths from the Delta variant. A public health expert said that we could cut that down to 50,000 deaths JUST BY WEARING MASKS. He also said that number would go lower if everyone would get vaccines.

    Other states are implementing mask mandates because science says they protect the public health.

    Why are Indiana public health officials not mandating masks? Maybe it’s because the new Republican battle cry, is “I a want the freedom to wreck American public health”!

    Own the libs! MAGA?!?

    PS The people making crematory urns love it.

    1. Dan M., from what I have read, there is no specific test for the “Delta” variant, and it can not be specifically identified. In other words, you just test positive for Covid, not Covid – Original versus Covid – Delta. So I have strong doubts about the validity of the article that you read since the Delta variant cannot be specifically identified. It can’t be anything more that assumptions and guesswork, which is then reported as fact, which has led to the mistrust and many people deciding not to get vaccinated.

  2. As usual, the Governor and all of the legislature have remained silent. The best that they can do is pass a law that prevents the REQUIREMENT for all Hoosiers to get vaccinated by denying employers in general to force workers to get vaccinated. This is irresponsible and cruel to the the citizens of our State. As I have said before, we are only our own to fend for ourselves.

  3. Why isn’t Indiana offering the antibody treatnent to keep people out of the hospital? Why isn’t the public being told what to take to lower their risk instead of forcing people to get the vaccine? Just wanting an honest answer

    1. Take the vaccine. Wear a mask. Don’t congregate in overly crowded places if you can avoid it. Do these and you likely won’t need antibiotics.


    2. Because people would not take it when it was offered, and they’re not seeking immediate medical attention. They stay home and eat horse paste.

    3. Indiana does offer antibody treatment. But it only works if you take it very early on, preferably at time of exposure before you are symptomatic. Once you are sick it is too late to help. @ D.M. – Antibiotics don’t work for viruses. #honesty.

  4. The same peple getting a harder case of this are unhealty people, and older. The same people who don’t want the vaccine, won’t wear a mask either. I am vaccinated, I won’t wear a mask.

  5. The stories of Box and the rest of the Swamp puppets authored by criminal crook perjurer Fauci. Box like Fauci has been caught in lies, flip flopping, etc. etc.

    The first themes were don’t take Hydroxichloriquin and they herded it off the market as to wait for the “vaccines” that aren’t vaccines. Then a year later we find out Hydroxichloriquin actually is a viable treatment for C19 and the Swamp puppets are getting sued.
    How many died waiting for the “vaccines” that could’ve been successfully treated with Hydroxichloriquin???
    Now it Ivermetren they’re saying is no good as to take the “vaccine.”
    How many more thousands of injuries and deaths from the vaccines do we have to see as to know that with a 97.9% survival rate with COVID and as of today another study out of Israel confirmed that are natural immunities are 13 times stronger and effective than the vaccines, we have a better chances and less risk of injury and death on our own.
    Also once again we’re in the trap again, is it COVID-19 or? Is it a prevailing preexisting health condition? etc. etc. There hasn’t been a whole lot of honesty in the hospital administration side of things as the government makes each case a cash cow for them.
    Pfizer concoctions got FDA approval after it has already killed and injured thousands. Very strange when the standard was 25 incidents and off the shelves.
    But nonetheless with the FDA’s approval they are still exempt from liabilities if it kills or injures someone.
    The other thing very noticable is the difference between the experts and doctors affiliated with the government and those independent of the government that get censored by Big Tech as “misinformation.”
    The political doctors and experts of the government have much to politically and financially gain off the government and just echo propaganda and fear.
    The independent medical doctors and experts with nothing politically or financially to gain presents actual studies, data, and lab results even further to the microscopes in the labs. This includes the virus, vaccines, treatments, masks, etc.
    When people see the Big Tech tag something with “misinformation,” that the cue for the truth.
    Research Fauci and the origins of C19 and you will find it’s a bioweapon that was planned years ago for now by militant Globalist of the NWO.
    Get a grip people! Look at all the other epidemics of the past. We didn’t quarantine the healthy and only the sick. Look at the vaccines after vaccines for those diseases that are still with us and we still survived before the COVID scare us out of our freedom plot of now.
    For decades the focus for those were and predominantly treatment and not a vaccine or nothing.
    Don’t forget we do have an more effective immune system than the vaccines as more independent studies are proving more everyday.
    Think! Why is this virus that comes from the Coronavirus that the flu comes from being treated backwards to the rest and so politicalized?
    The same people that put Biden in office and threatening our liberties on other fronts than COVID are the same ones ordering us about COVID and if you watch them, it’s “dont do as I do, do what I say!”
    Trust God only!!!

    1. And with that, folks, Darrell threw his hat in the ring to primary that RINO Todd Young.

      He speaks the language of the Republican base voter.

  6. Also don’t forget the actual biology as the vaccinated are shedding off the virus, it makes them several times more contagious! The reason why the vaxxed is testing more positive than the rest and instead of being honest, the Globalist opportunist are pushing a booster shot. No matter how many shots, the results are still the same.
    But the more shots, the higher incidents of the spike proteins are going to get into the other parts of the body as they are finding now and will injure or kill you.

    1. Veteran dies of treatable illness as COVID fills hospital beds, leaving doctors “playing musical chairs”

      “ When U.S. Army veteran Daniel Wilkinson started feeling sick last week, he went to the hospital in Bellville, Texas, outside Houston. His health problem wasn’t related to COVID-19, but Wilkinson needed advanced care, and with the coronavirus filling up intensive care beds, he couldn’t get it in time to save his life.

      “He loved his country,” his mother, Michelle Puget, told “CBS This Morning” lead national correspondent David Begnaud. “He served two deployments in Afghanistan, came home with a Purple Heart, and it was a gallstone that took him out.”

    2. Darrell, I am speechless at your comments and I won’t ask for your sources because they will be baseless, themselves. My only hope would be that the IBJ would see your comments as unproven, lacking science-based protocol and should be removed for their potential damage to the health of fellow Hoosiers and Americans.

  7. The article states 1293 of 1300 hospitalized were unvaccinated. The vaccine is safe. Ignore the conspiracy theories. Fauci is doing his best and there’s no proof he lied. Just made up stuff by the MAGA’s.

    If everyone gets vaxed then masks and social distancing won’t be needed. Protect our kids under 12 that aren’t eligible for the vax. Also protect those that can’t get vaxed because of health issues.

    But the MAGA’s want their Freedumb. They don’t care how many die and have long term COVID effects. Quit being stupid and selfish.

  8. I am not about silencing dissent. Reasoned debate is vital. But I’m sorry, IBJ needs to pull the commenting privileges from Darrell. All day today, he has been posting the most outrageous, false, dangerous, ridiculous nonsense in multiple places in this comment section. His comments are overflowing with malicious disinformation of the kind that has been persuading people to forego masks and vaccines, then jampack our hospitals and die preventable deaths. C’mon, IBJ… remove the dangerous disinformation. You have a moral imperative.

    And by the way, why do we not have a statewide mask mandate? The numbers are far worse than they’ve been since January, and we maintained mandates well past January. Why are they not back? How bad will it have to get? We’re not Florida, which by the way had 901 deaths yesterday. But do we want to be Florida? Biden said if you don’t want to help, get out of the way…I guess Holcomb has taken the middle road of getting out of the way, which is better than his counterparts in Florida and Texas, but still poorly serving the interests of Hoosiers.

  9. Rod B., the state health department does test a sample of COVID-positive tests from all areas of the state for variants. It publishes the results every day on the COVID dashboard. More than 97% of the samples tested in August have been the delta variant.