Kentucky vs. Indiana: Comparing the states’ COVID outbreaks, responses

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 12:06 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - This week, Kentucky crossed the 100,000 case mark of COVID 19, a disturbing milestone that had been reached in Indiana during the first week of September.

Since March, Kentucky and Indiana have seen different scenarios as each state tries to tackle the outbreak differently. Even though the states border one another, each state has its own way of determining what counties are red zones, but one thing remains the same: As case numbers rise, state leaders don’t want anyone letting their guard down.

“The times we are going through right now and what looks like we will see the next couple weeks is concerning and it’s going to start feeling more and more like March and April,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said.

There are 103,305 total cases in the Commonwealth, sitting just above a 6% positivity rate. Right now, 969 people are in the hospital, 234 in ICU,120 on ventilators. Also, 68 counties are in the red with their case rates, meaning it’s impacting 25 for every 100,000 people daily.

“Business leaders, school system, government, if you’re in a red county make your plans for next week,” Beshear warned.

He recommended the red counties go virtual and minimize contact.

Across the Commonwealth, masks are required but everything is pretty much open. Restaurants, bars, and offices are still at 50% capacity.

Meanwhile, in Indiana, people still have to keep masks on in public, but businesses are fully open.

“Stage 5 is our last stage, so I think there’s a lot of, you know, okay we’re going to throw caution to the wind, and people let up again in their precautions,” Dr. Eric Yazel, a Clark County Health Officer, said.

Back in the first week of September, Indiana reached 100,000 cases. Now, two months later, it stands at 172,730 with a 14% positivity rate. Right now,1,733 Hoosiers are in the hospital, around 500 are in an ICU, and around 160 are on ventilators.

Indiana has only three of what they consider red zone counties, meaning 200 weekly cases per 100,000 residents. It’s a much different threshold than Kentucky’s.

Many counties are still orange, like Clark, which according to data is trending downward from a spike.

“We had about a five or six-day stretch we were up around that 15% [positivity rate],” Yazel said. “Now, we are starting to gradually trend back down or down to 11% today. We certainly hope those trends continue. Obviously, the Halloween festivities over the weekend will go a long way to determining that.”

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