Positivity rate and positive cases remain a concern for county health officials

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INDIANAPOLIS — There will be no changes to the current health order in Marion County. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and The Marion County Public Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine said this morning, that decision is based on the positivity rate and the number of cases on a seven-day average.

For the first time, Thursday, Indiana reported more than 3,000 positive coronavirus cases in a single day. Leaders are tracking the spread in Marion County. The first thing, they’re paying attention is the positivity rate which is currently at 7.3 %.

“Today we are beneath the 10 percent positivity rate that acted as a threshold for our early mitigating efforts,” said Hogsett.

Dr. Caine says 10% would be grounds for major concern and lead to new restrictions. In September, we stayed below 5% for two weeks then we began to see an increase.

“This rate will go up. More of our neighbors will continue to get sick, some will die. And the only options available to us may be to return to more stringent mitigation efforts,” said Hogsett.

This is why the health department of IUPUI’s School of Public Health will begin conducting more surveillance testing for those who are asymptomatic. And within the coming weeks, the Marion County’s Public Health Department hopes to partner with surrounding county health departments that are also seeing increases. 

“Begin working on what I hope will be more regional collaboration on policies and practices that acknowledge that our foe in this fight does not recognize county lines,” said Hogsett.

The second thing they’re also keeping their eyes on is the number of new cases on a daily basis on a seven-day average.

In late September we averaged 100 cases per day. Now we’re at 209 cases each day.

“Our goal standard is actually less than 35 cases per day. Is the goal we’re aiming for,” said Dr. Caine.

Right now, hospitals in the county are down on admission but still seeing coronavirus patients in the emergency room. Yet some of the sickest patients are the seniors. That is why Dr. Caine continues to encourage everyone to remain vigilant.

“This is the time and point you have to be the strongest. We are near the finish line. Help us be a winner,” said Dr. Caine.

We reached out to several of those health departments in the surrounding counties for comment. They declined to comment since they were not yet aware of the potential partnership.

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