Marion County Public Health Department says restrictions could be coming if COVID-19 situation worsens


Midsection of female doctor with swab test sample during COVID-19 crisis. Female medical professional is holding test tube in hospital. She is wearing protective suit. (Getty)

The Marion County Public Health Department is considering implementing COVID-19 restrictions if things continue to trend in the wrong direction. 

Gov, Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday he would not be implementing any statewide restrictions. Instead, he is relying on local counties to decide what’s best based on COVID-19 data. 

“We’re definitely seeing an increase of cases, because of the holidays,” said Dr. Virginia Caine, chief medical officer for the Marion County Public Health Department.

Positive cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in Marion County.

“It’s very concerning because we’ve had almost all of our hospital systems [go] on what we call diversion,” Caine said. “That means all their beds are full.”

If things continue to worsen, COVID-19 protocols could change. 

“The biggest thing I think we really have to look at is our hospitalizations,” Caine said.

When it comes to possible restrictions, the health department is monitoring which age groups are getting infected and the positivity rates.

One Community Health Network official we spoke to hopes the county seriously considers restrictions, if only to make people take notice of the surge in cases.

“People are really tired of the pandemic,” said Robin Ledyard, chief medical officer at Community Health Network. “Unless the mandate has some type of punishment, which I don’t think it would, I don’t know. I hope people pay attention to public health messages and do the right thing.”

Ledyard is concerned about what upcoming events could bring.

“I worry about large gatherings on NYE and sporting events, etc.,” Ledyard said.

At it stands, Indianapolis is still set to host the College Football Championship Game, which Caine says the city is prepared to do given previous experiences.

“We’ve had an enormous amount of experience so far in the past, with our NCAA Tournaments and basketball tournaments, such as the Big 10,” Caine said.

Caine says she is working with several groups to determine if the current spike could impact plans surrounding the College Football Playoff.

She says big decisions will be made early next week after they get a chance to analyze the latest data.

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