Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb held a virtual meeting Wednesday to discuss COVID-19 testing, new testing sites and a school dashboard for tracking cases.
Dr. Kristina Box, state health commissioner, said Indiana has had 101,485 total positive cases of COVID-19 and there have been a total of 3,173 deaths as of midnight Tuesday.
Box said Indiana currently has 43.3% of ICU beds and nearly 82% of ventilators available.
Out of 95,654 COVID-19 positive patients in Indiana, 21% have visited an emergency department, 12% have been hospitalized and 2% of hospitalized patients have been admitted to the ICU, Box said.
Box said 82% of COVID-19 patients have recovered.
Box said with funding from the CARES Act and the CDC, local health departments will be opening 95 new testing sites across Indiana by Oct. 1 with the goal of increasing testing options and accessibility for Hoosiers. Participating counties will receive $30 million in funding to cover operation costs for the next two years.
The expectation is the new testing sites will be able to do between 100 and 200 tests per day, depending on population density and demand, she said.
“I’ve been impressed by the willingness to take on this challenge and to help ensure that every Hoosier has access to testing,” Box said.
Indiana is continuing to make progress on gathering the necessary information to create a school dashboard of COVID-19 cases, Box said. This week, the state will be testing an electronic portal designed to streamline the process of reporting cases for schools.
“Our goal is to be able to report cases by school, not just by school districts,” Box said.
Individuals who test positive at schools will not be identified by name and schools with less than five cases will not be reported on the dashboard to protect individual privacy, Box said. She said the purpose of this dashboard is not to dictate whether schools have in-person classes or move to virtual learning because those decisions will be made locally.
“The purpose is to help all of us make the best decisions possible as we navigate this pandemic,” Box said.
All university testing results in Indiana that have been submitted to the state are posted on the dashboard. Box said they have received the positive test results from Purdue University and IU, but have not yet received all the negative results, which will affect positivity rates in those counties.
Indiana is nearing the end of its second wave of testing for long-term care staff, and once the results are collected they will be available on the long-term care dashboard, Box said.
The State Department of Health will continue to assist with outbreak testing as needed, but have provided funding for local facilities to sustain and ensure routine testing on their own, Box said.
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