Indiana leaders pin slowing COVID-19 spread to vaccine

Indiana faces a longer stretch of COVID-19 illnesses and deaths while the governor and top state health official on Wednesday pinned improvement on personal responsibility and the looming first arrival of vaccines rather than reinstating more statewide precautions.

Posted: Dec 3, 2020 12:45 PM
Updated: Dec 7, 2020 10:56 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana faces a longer stretch of COVID-19 illnesses and deaths while the governor and top state health official on Wednesday pinned improvement on personal responsibility and the looming first arrival of vaccines rather than reinstating more statewide precautions.

Nearly all of Indiana remained in the greatest-risk categories for coronavirus spread in a state health department update that also showed a new high for average daily COVID-19 deaths for the state.

Health officials across the state are worried about hospitals being overwhelmed by the growing number of severely ill patients and a possible new surge tied to Thanksgiving gatherings in the past week.

“We know that we’re kind of bracing for the next few weeks to unfold and those lagging indicators that come off of holidays when people are traveling, when people are getting together with folks that they haven’t been around,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said during his weekly coronavirus briefing.

Indiana hospitals were treating more than 3,400 COVID-19 patients as of Tuesday — about a 350% increase since late September when the state’s steep increase in hospitalizations and deaths began.

Sixteen of the state’s 92 counties were listed in the most dangerous red category in the health department’s weekly tracking map. All but one other county was assigned the next riskiest orange rating.

Those overall county ratings have not improved over the past three weeks as Indiana’s number of COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations have continued increases to surpass the state’s peaks during the initial coronavirus surge during the spring.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said it was possible that Indiana could receive enough of the initial vaccines nearing federal authorization to cover front-line health care workers and nursing home residents by the end of December, followed by wider distribution next year.

“I hope it gives every Hoosiers hope that we will get to the other side of this pandemic,” Box said.

Health officials on Wednesday added 91 confirmed recent COVID-19 deaths and 19 deaths of people with probable coronavirus infections to the statewide toll. The confirmed deaths for November now total 1,477 — surpassing the previous monthly peak during April by nearly 400 and about double October’s total.

The state’s seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths has reached 60 per day after that average was below 10 a day during July.

Indiana’s current surge in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths began in September about the time Holcomb lifted nearly all business and crowd size restrictions before reinstating some crowd limits in mid-November while continuing the statewide face mask order.

Holcomb, who completed a two-week quarantine Tuesday after a COVID-19 exposure, said Wednesday no states have found a “magic wand” of actions to stop the coronavirus spread and that individuals needed to accept the short-term inconvenience of precautions such as mask wearing and limiting contact with others.

“We’ll continue to appeal and make sure that folks have the information as COVID-19 continues to ravage our communities and families and make sure folks are equipped to make the right, safe decisions,” Holcomb said.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

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

Cases: 1187757

Reported Deaths: 22759
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4748859369
DuPage768711196
Will65092894
Lake59589923
Kane50800717
Winnebago28351440
Madison28026455
St. Clair25497467
McHenry24336265
Champaign18115126
Peoria16906262
Sangamon16152218
McLean14621157
Tazewell13538240
Rock Island13069286
Kankakee12502189
Kendall1107786
LaSalle10810219
Macon9461185
Vermilion8568116
DeKalb8276112
Adams8006114
Williamson6800121
Whiteside5930147
Boone592671
Clinton557189
Coles520391
Grundy512563
Ogle502173
Knox5018132
Jackson461160
Effingham449469
Macoupin435279
Henry433057
Marion4262111
Livingston420677
Franklin414666
Stephenson409875
Monroe406683
Jefferson3980115
Randolph396378
Woodford367960
Morgan358876
Montgomery350068
Lee335343
Logan330953
Bureau330873
Christian330568
Fayette306452
Perry305857
Fulton285344
Iroquois277161
Jersey249646
Douglas245033
McDonough232840
Lawrence230024
Saline229847
Union218537
Shelby214034
Crawford200723
Bond191024
Cass189022
Pike169250
Clark168630
Wayne167448
Hancock167229
Warren166444
Richland163538
White160925
Jo Daviess160522
Ford158745
Washington158423
Carroll157634
Edgar154337
Moultrie149424
Clay142941
Greene137932
Johnson134712
Piatt132814
Wabash130012
Mason128641
De Witt128022
Mercer128033
Massac127233
Cumberland119218
Jasper111017
Menard10388
Marshall83915
Hamilton78815
Schuyler6775
Pulaski6696
Brown6636
Stark54122
Edwards52310
Henderson49814
Calhoun4782
Scott4491
Alexander4488
Gallatin4374
Putnam4163
Hardin34512
Pope2823
Out of IL00
Unassigned02223

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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

Cases: 662213

Reported Deaths: 12595
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion907061645
Lake48425878
Allen35861636
Hamilton32099397
St. Joseph29996512
Elkhart25386415
Vanderburgh21247378
Tippecanoe20024201
Johnson16349360
Porter15975270
Hendricks15825300
Clark11965181
Madison11746318
Vigo11612229
Monroe10333161
Delaware9838179
LaPorte9772196
Howard9056197
Kosciusko8562110
Bartholomew7456147
Warrick7416151
Hancock7409131
Floyd7207169
Wayne6633191
Grant6427157
Morgan6092125
Boone609088
Dubois5910111
Dearborn547467
Cass544499
Marshall5425104
Henry542393
Noble509378
Jackson464767
Shelby460690
Lawrence4184112
Gibson401281
Harrison399864
Clinton395853
Montgomery387083
DeKalb385278
Knox357485
Miami357463
Whitley349436
Huntington344476
Steuben338355
Wabash331476
Putnam330559
Ripley327161
Adams323549
Jasper316143
White297352
Jefferson294973
Daviess285396
Fayette271956
Decatur270888
Greene261280
Posey260931
Wells258275
Scott250350
Clay241444
LaGrange240870
Randolph225576
Spencer217330
Jennings215244
Washington211227
Sullivan203439
Fountain201542
Starke188151
Owen182153
Fulton178237
Jay177828
Carroll176518
Perry173235
Orange171250
Rush164822
Vermillion160542
Franklin159435
Tipton146441
Parke139316
Pike127632
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown95039
Benton92013
Crawford90713
Martin80114
Warren75814
Switzerland7548
Union67110
Ohio53711
Unassigned0433