Governor Holcomb gives update on COVID-19 in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS—Governor Eric Holcomb and state health officials gave an update on Indiana’s COVID-19 response on Tuesday.

Holcomb announced that he is signing an executive order to extend licensing for medical professionals.

National Guard members who are trained to do so will be able to assist in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout as part of the executive order. They will also remain deployed in long-term care facilities across the state through the end of February.

Dr. Kristina Box, Indiana’s health commissioner, said the state has identified an error in the reporting of the 7-day positivity rate on the state's COVID-19 dashboard.

The error will be corrected next week by changing the methodology for calculating the 7-day positivity rate, Box said.

Box said the state’s 7-day positivity rate is expected to increase once the change is made. She said the impact on individual counties’ 7-day positivity rate will be mixed.

Box apologized for the error and said it was discovered in the software used to calculate the positivity rate.

The error does not impact other numbers, such as positive cases and deaths, reported on the dashboard, Box said. The other numbers reported on the dashboard have always been accurate, according to Box. 

Dr. Lindsay Weaver, the state health department’s chief medical officer, announced that by end of day Tuesday, 40,000 Hoosiers will have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Weaver said that the state is targeting 91,000 vaccinations by January 4.

Most of the month of January will be spent with a focus on vaccinating health care workers, Weaver said.

Senator Todd Young joined the briefing virtually to speak on the new relief package Congress passed on Monday night and is awaiting President Donald Trump’s signature.

Young mentioned a few highlights in the federal COVID-19 relief package including direct payments of $600 to individuals and qualified child dependents, small business relief, extended federal unemployment insurance benefits of $300 per week through March 2021, an extension of the CDC eviction moratorium and more.

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