Indiana Leading Tri-State in COVID-19 Positivity Rates

The Hoosier state had over 4,000 new positive coronavirus cases for the first time Thursday, and now the seven-day positivity rate is at 8.8%, higher than any of its neighboring states.

Posted: Nov 5, 2020 11:49 PM
Updated: Nov 6, 2020 11:52 AM

A new daily record and a new milestone.

Indiana had over 4,000 new positive COVID-19 cases Thursday as the virus continues its rapid spread across the Hoosier state.

Despite surging cases, the state remains nearly fully reopened under Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb's Back on Track plan.

Administrator for the Indiana State Health Department Dr. Kristina Box said moving back is not the answer, pointing out other Midwest states are seeing record numbers even with heightened restrictions.

"It's not like we're open to the normal world pre-pandemic, so when I look at this we have those things we know we are going to make an impact with," she said. "That is convincing Hoosiers across our state that if we would wear our masks and socially distance, this is how we can decrease the spread."

But when compared to its neighbors, Indiana currently has the highest seven-day positivity rate at 8.8%.

Illinois, with almost twice the population, sits at 8.5%. Michigan has a rate of 8.1%, Ohio with one at 7.3%, and Kentucky with a rate of 6.5%.

Those states all have a slower spread. They all have yet to fully reopen and they all still have capacity limits and consequences for violating the mask mandate.

Given current numbers, Joe Gries, an administrator with the Vanderburgh County Health Department, said whether the governor rolls back restrictions is still up on the air.

"Maybe we can see a plateau here locally and across the state but if we do see higher numbers other things may need to happen," he said.

But until then, he said communities will have to continue following local guidelines to help slow the spread.

"I think it's going to come down to the public really addressing their own behaviors and how they conduct themselves when they're at work, when they're with family, when they're out with friends doing different things," he said. "That's going to be the key."

The governor said for now local health departments in high risk communities should consider implementing "area specific" measures to try and fight the virus.

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