ISDH talks severity of COVID-19 in Indiana and when to expect a vaccine

State health officials say Indiana is experiencing exponential growth when it comes to COVID-19, and they don’t expect it to turn around quickly.

Posted: Nov 18, 2020 6:22 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - State health officials say Indiana is experiencing exponential growth when it comes to COVID-19, and they don’t expect it to turn around quickly.

“COVID-19 can strike anyone, anywhere, and at any time,” Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said, “We are seeing that with increasing frequency in Indiana and across the country.”

Clay and Sullivan Counties are now at “red” status on Indiana’s COVID-19 metrics map. The rest of the Wabash Valley is orange—the second-highest level. As we’ve explained before, the colors are tied to certain guidelines. Dr. Box says this is just one sign that we need to use extra caution as we head into Thanksgiving.

Dr. Box says health officials have been working tirelessly to try and prevent the surge in COVID-19 cases that Indiana is currently experiencing.

On Indiana’s county metric map for COVID-19, 21 counties are red, 72 counties are orange, and just one county is yellow. Remember, these colors are determined by two metrics: The number of cases per 100,000 residents and seven-day positivity rates.

Dr. Box says this map is already alarming as it stands, but if you only measure each county by the number of cases per 100,000 residents, then every single county in the state would be red.

“I can tell you that we are on an exponential growth curve right now and we do not expect this to turn around quickly. In the next several weeks we will continue to see cases climb, individuals hospitalized, and unfortunately more deaths,” Dr. Box explained, “That’s why we plea now to the general public to do those basic, simple precautionary measures that may seem small and very irritating to you, but could make a tremendous difference.”

Dr. Box says every metric is at or around an all-time high right now compared to when the pandemic started. They are also seeing 18-30-year-olds become infected with the virus with higher frequency. Because of that, Dr. Box shared this advice to those heading home for Thanksgiving.

“Behave as if you have COVID-19 or as if you have been exposed. When you get home, plan to spend those 14 days in quarantine even in your own home. Wear a mask in your own home. Don’t see your grandma or other elderly relatives until you complete that 14 day period without any symptoms,” Dr. Box concluded, “Lastly, please don’t head out to the bars or hangout with all the friends who you haven’t seen for months. You need to keep those social bubbles small.”

Dr. Box says these sacrifices during the holidays will save lives here in Indiana.

The state’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver also gave an update on COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday. She says Pfizer is reporting its COVID-19 vaccine is about 95% effective in the final results. Health officials are also hearing similar results from trials of a vaccine by Moderna. Dr. Weaver says that they expect Pfizer’s vaccine to be the first that Indiana receives.

Pfizer announced on Wednesday that it plans to seek FDA authorization for the vaccine. After that, the FDA will have an outside committee review the findings from the final trial. If the review is favorable, the FDA can grant emergency use authorization that will allow the vaccine to be shipped to the states.

Dr. Weaver says the process is not being rushed, and that no vaccine will be distributed to Hoosiers until it is deemed safe by federal regulators and an Indiana review committee.

“We know that large percentages of people are hesitant to get the vaccine,” Dr. Weaver said, “This is in part because they feel that it has been developed quickly. However, I want to remind Hoosiers of what Dr. Box said last week. This vaccine has not been rushed. It has been developed off of work that has been ongoing for a decade.”

Governor Holcomb says we are still a few months away from widespread distribution of a COVID-198 vaccine. He says that in the meantime, we must do better as a state to mitigate the spread of the virus, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1363409

Reported Deaths: 24725
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook54578510114
DuPage906281281
Will75577990
Lake67248988
Kane58414774
Winnebago33247475
Madison30525520
McHenry28604288
St. Clair27862514
Peoria23136315
Champaign20649145
Sangamon18762234
McLean18167179
Tazewell16959288
Rock Island14994317
Kankakee14193210
Kendall1306094
LaSalle12553243
Macon10762199
DeKalb9874119
Vermilion9653132
Adams8466123
Williamson7433130
Whiteside7165172
Boone670773
Ogle611481
Grundy589375
Clinton576090
Coles568795
Knox5565145
Jackson502764
Henry498167
Livingston482585
Stephenson475983
Woodford475176
Effingham472972
Macoupin470282
Marion4472115
Franklin445075
Monroe435793
Jefferson4296120
Lee416952
Randolph413184
Fulton392756
Morgan390382
Logan388058
Bureau372082
Montgomery372074
Christian366773
Perry317560
Fayette317455
Iroquois302266
McDonough285647
Jersey268950
Douglas258835
Saline256454
Lawrence240525
Shelby229837
Union226040
Crawford212026
Bond205024
Cass199225
Jo Daviess181524
Clark179833
Warren179846
Pike179152
Ford178647
Wayne177553
Hancock176032
Carroll175436
Richland175040
Edgar170440
White169726
Washington164525
Moultrie161028
De Witt151324
Mason151045
Piatt149814
Clay148143
Mercer147033
Johnson144415
Greene143733
Wabash134512
Massac134340
Cumberland129019
Menard123612
Jasper115018
Marshall107318
Hamilton83315
Schuyler7587
Brown7066
Pulaski6877
Stark63823
Edwards57112
Henderson52514
Calhoun5182
Putnam4823
Scott4791
Alexander46811
Gallatin4584
Hardin38612
Pope3224
Out of IL40
Unassigned02356

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 733591

Reported Deaths: 13466
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1003871748
Lake54020975
Allen40829679
St. Joseph35898552
Hamilton35735408
Elkhart28745442
Tippecanoe22432219
Vanderburgh22342397
Porter18871310
Johnson18028381
Hendricks17283315
Clark13015191
Madison12725339
Vigo12482248
LaPorte12011214
Monroe11928170
Delaware10726187
Howard9959218
Kosciusko9451117
Hancock8325142
Bartholomew8085156
Warrick7792155
Floyd7677178
Grant7080174
Wayne7064199
Boone6722101
Morgan6596139
Dubois6162117
Marshall6083112
Cass5839105
Dearborn582178
Henry5767104
Noble563684
Jackson502773
Shelby493696
Lawrence4571120
Harrison436372
Gibson436292
DeKalb429685
Clinton428153
Montgomery425389
Whitley397439
Huntington393380
Steuben390057
Miami382668
Knox372690
Jasper370148
Putnam362360
Wabash354980
Adams341955
Ripley340270
Jefferson331581
White315654
Daviess298299
Wells291981
Decatur285692
Fayette281662
Greene280085
Posey271933
LaGrange268370
Scott267254
Clay260647
Washington241832
Randolph241481
Spencer232631
Jennings230649
Starke217854
Fountain213246
Sullivan212142
Owen202156
Jay196730
Fulton195640
Carroll189620
Orange184154
Perry184037
Rush173725
Vermillion169743
Franklin168435
Tipton163045
Parke146616
Blackford135132
Pike135134
Pulaski117145
Newton108334
Brown102641
Crawford101315
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82415
Switzerland7938
Union71110
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417