Gov. Eric Holcomb said Monday the state would re-evaluate whether to allow hospitals and surgery centers to resume services at 11:59 p.m. Sunday if they have sufficient protective equipment for treating COVID-19 patients.
The two technologies are different, but the goal of both is to provide a result within 40 minutes. The researchers say they are working with manufacturers to develop the products, which they hope will retail for $5 or less.
Health officials examined about 8,000 coronavirus cases in Indiana and found about one-third visited an emergency room and about a quarter were hospitalized.
The figures reflect the outsized danger of the coronavirus to elderly people, who often are physically weak and have underlying conditions, from heart disease to diabetes.
Indiana University Health said admissions of COVID-19 patients at its 16 hospitals have been “pretty flat” over the past six or seven days, but it’s unclear whether the surge has peaked.
Nursing homes are now permitted to relocate or discharge residents to reduce the risk of COVID-19, even if families or local officials object, according to an order issued Tuesday by Indiana State Health Commissioner Kristina Box.
Baricitinib, also known under the brand name Olumiant, is approved in more than 65 countries as a treatment for adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis.
The latest model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation now indicates hospitalizations from COVID-19 in Indiana crested last week. It also predicts that far fewer Hoosiers will die from the disease than estimated earlier.
The state disclosed the by breakdown by race for the first time on Friday, and officials said they would begin posting the information on the health department’s web dashboard on Monday, with frequent updates.
The state health department laid out new orders Wednesday in an effort to protect elderly and confined Hoosiers from contracting the disease, Meanwhile, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard is coordinating testing for nursing home residents in his city.
State officials are urging local manufacturers to help keep supplies up by producing additional protective gear for the state’s hospitals and nursing homes.
A Fishers-based operator of nursing homes plans to relocate residents from one of its facilities to other sites and designate the vacated 140-bed facility for COVID-19 patients only—a move that is meeting resistance from some public officials and family members.
Gov. Eric Holcomb acknowledged the state is facing a potential mental-health crisis, and said he is committed to offering services to Hoosiers who are feeling troubled.
Both types of locations are considered serious in a pandemic, because the virus can spread quickly in confined spaces. In addition, elderly people in nursing homes or prisons with underlying medical conditions are considered especially vulnerable if they are infected.
Other big insurers, including Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealth Group, have already rolled out similar moves.
State leaders on Wednesday defended “targeted testing”—or restricting tests to certain high-risk groups—saying they didn’t want to deplete test supplies.
The decision means perhaps tens of thousands of additional people can get tested at Lilly’s drive-thru, including people who work in grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and other places listed by the state as essential.
The Indianapolis-based health insurer is accused of falsely certifying the accuracy of incorrect diagnosis data from doctors and other health providers over four years.