Reopening in the region: So far, so good says Reid Health doctor
Indiana's phased reopening isn't causing a spike in coronavirus cases - at least so far in Indiana, says a Reid Health physician who has been monitoring COVID statistics since the pandemic began.
Thomas Huth, M.D.,
Vice President of Medical Affairs, has tracked international, national, regional and local
data for months and shared it regularly with regional health department
officials in Indiana
and Ohio. "The good news is that reopening doesn't seem to be spiking the number of
cases -- at least not yet," Dr. Huth said, noting that total cases are expected
to rise as testing increases. "But we need to watch indicators of severity - particularly
positive test rates, hospitalizations and deaths."
"We need to watch indicators of severity - particularly positive test rates, hospitalizations and deaths." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Reid Health
He sees a red
flag in Ohio, however, as positive test rates and hospitalizations have trended
up. In the United States as of this week, the national increases are mostly
related to upward trends in California, Texas, Florida and Arizona. "In all
four cases, their case counts are higher mostly because of expanded testing. We
can see this because they have relatively high per capita testing rates, they
have lower rates of positive tests than most states, their case-fatality rates
are lower than average, and their hospitalization rates are lower." The
increases in Texas, Arizona and Florida are the most concerning because of an
indication that increases are partly explained by more spread. Their positive
test rates have increased in recent weeks.
numbers from area counties and statistics at Reid Health continue to show a
slow, downward trend as summer begins. The number of hospitalized patients kept
in containment areas as positive or suspected COVID-19 cases peaked at 64 at
the end of March and first of April, then remained in the 50s for several weeks
before slowly trending downward. As of June 26, the number hit its lowest point
since then at 15.
What Dr. Huth
will be watching as he monitors the numbers is whether he sees an uptick in
severity of cases. "We want to see
continued low hospitalization rates, ICU admissions and deaths." He also stressed the importance of continuing to follow safety precautions - masking, social distancing and hand-washing -- to keep the trend going downward.
He also stressed the importance of continuing to follow safety precautions - masking, social distancing and hand-washing -- to keep the trend going downward.
updates and other COVID-19 information, visit: www.ReidHealth.org/safe.