Indiana coronavirus surge could be later than initially expected

Indiana coronavirus surge could be later than initially expected
Clark County, Indiana Health Officer Dr. Eric Yazel.
Clark County, Indiana Health Officer Dr. Eric Yazel. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

CLARK CO, Ind. (WAVE) - The story told by Indiana data shows just how much life can change in a month.

On March 13, the Hoosier state had only 15 total cases. Around then, Clark County Health Officer Dr. Eric Yazel told WAVE 3 News that there was still a long, uphill battle ahead.

"Just prepare for the long haul," Yazel said. "I do think this is going to be a long course. You know its a marathon and not a sprint."

Now, a month later, that's proven to be true.

In Indiana, Monday, 350 people have now died from the Coronavirus. A total of 8,236 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

Despite what some may see nationally, local health experts suggest Indiana may not be rounding the peak just yet when it comes to those coronavirus statistics.

The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts Indiana may have already reached the peak when it comes to deaths and resource needs, but Yazel said he's not convinced of that just yet.

"I cant say I'm confident we're past the peak," he said. "I do think some of the data that we're seeing right now is showing that that peak might not be as severe as what was originally projected."

Yazel said that will help when it comes to preserving medical resources, but also said this will be a big week. Yazel said increased testing in Clark County, through sites like the new one at Ivy Tech, will give us a better understanding at just how widespread the virus is in Southern Indiana.

"Do we have 20 cases, 2,000, 20,000?" he said. "How many cases are out there because that's going to help guide us on what to expect from a surge side of things. Also, what to expect when its time to start getting everybody back out and about and back to work."

Yazel said as more tests are done, more already existing cases will come to light. The numbers may be frightening to some, but more data will help Indiana understand what its up against.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box Monday said the ‘surge’ is expected to be later than previously predicted in the state. She said it may be the end of April when Marion County, IN, peaks, but could be later for the rest of the state.

Box attributed the changing models to successful social distancing practices.

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