Delta variant hits county | State House
INDIANAPOLIS – Allen County is one of four counties with an outbreak in a long-term care facility as the state sees the delta variant of COVID-19 increase.
But state health commissioner Dr Kris Box said on Friday that no new state restrictions were underway and that Indiana would not impose masks in schools – even for those who cannot be vaccinated.
This was the first briefing on COVID-19 in about two months.
She noted that the state’s positivity rate fell from 2.1% at the end of June to 3.2%, and that hospitalizations are also increasing.
The state reported 400 new cases and five new deaths on Friday. Allen County added 36 new cases.
The state runs random samples to identify strains present in the state. Overall, the alpha variant, first detected in the UK, remains dominant. But the new delta variant from India made up 56% of the samples from June 11 to July 8.
Indiana Department of Health chief medical officer Dr Lindsay Weaver said the delta version is more infectious and possibly more serious.
This could be one reason the state’s nursing homes are once again facing challenges – with outbreaks at four facilities in Allen, Fulton, Gibson and Howard counties. These epidemics represent 27 cases and seven deaths since mid-June. Most are found in unvaccinated or partially vaccinated residents.
No specific information about the Allen County outbreak has been provided.
According to data submitted to the federal government, approximately 79% of all residents of long-term care facilities in the state are vaccinated. It’s about halfway through the states. But only 48% of staff are vaccinated – the 10th worst in the country.
Box said she was disappointed with the state’s overall vaccination rate – 49% of those eligible were fully vaccinated.
She said one hurdle for people is that the vaccines are still under emergency use clearance, and she believes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would give them full approval would help some adults with problems. of security.
“It is by far the most studied vaccine in the history of the world,” Box said.
Weaver also addressed parents’ concerns about the possibility of children developing cases of myocarditis or inflammation of the heart. She said 56 to 69 possible cases of myocarditis – which are easy to treat – could occur in young boys, but this is offset by 5,700 cases of COVID averted and more than 200 hospitalizations.
“As a parent, I will take these chances,” she said.
Last year. Gov. Eric Holcomb made school masks mandatory for students and teachers, but this year the decision is left to local school boards. The CDC said on Friday that vaccinated teachers and students do not have to wear masks.
But children under the age of 12 – around 1 million in the state – cannot get the vaccine.
Box said that while the masks are not necessary, children can and should still wear them if they are not vaccinated.
“We know the masks work,” she said.