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Indiana Health Commissioner: COVID-19 cases expected to peak in mid to late April

Key takeaways from Friday state briefing
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Posted at 3:53 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 16:53:34-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Governor Eric Holcomb and various state officials, including State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box, briefed reporters Friday on the latest developments in the battle against the COVID-19 virus in Indiana.

Here are some key takeaways from the briefing:

Dr. Kris Box, State Health Commissioner

  • The number of COVID-19 cases in Indiana is not expected to peak until mid to late April. It currently stands at 981 with 24 deaths.
  • When asked about whether Indiana hospitals have enough supplies to handle the surge in patients, she said, "There is no state in the United States that has enough supplies to do this the way we did it six months ago. We are all adapting to the supplies that we have."
  • Health department workers have visited 535 Indiana nursing homes and more than 200 other long-term care facilities to review their plans for treating patients with COVID-19 and from keeping it from spreading within the facilities.
  • Box said 52% of virus patients have been women and 48% men. 56% of patients were at least 56-years-old.

Governor Eric Holcomb

  • Virus numbers are increasing daily, but the governor and Dr. Box said they are confident that Indiana hospitals can handle a surge in the number of virus patients. "we are good right now," said Holcomb.
  • Both the governor and Box were asked repeatedly why the state will not release the number of intensive care beds and ventilators in the state's hospitals. "We have to respect agreements we have in place with the individual hospitals," the Governor said as a reason for not releasing this information.
  • Holcomb encouraged public donations of medical supplies to hospitals.
  • The governor says the state's $2.3 billion surplus will "play a critical role in us getting to the other side."

Joe McGuinness, Commissioner, Indiana Department of Transportation

  • There has been a major decrease in the number of vehicles on state highways on a daily basis since the start of March. Traffic counts made on March 26 showed a 41% reduction in vehicle on the road over early March.

Rob Carter, Commissioner, Indiana Department of Correction

  • Prison workshops are producing supplies for Indiana hospitals and first-responders. By next Monday, Carter expects to see 200 masks and 200 gowns made daily.