The Journal Gazette
Saturday, January 23, 2021 1:00 am

Easing protocols eyed as cases dip

Numbers down over past 2 months

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana's rates of COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations and infections have reached their lowest levels in more than two months, and the governor is considering rolling back restrictions on crowd sizes.

The state health department's daily update on Friday reported 49 more recent COVID-19 deaths, which pushed its pandemic death toll past 9,600. The seven-day rolling average of about 50 COVID-19 deaths, though, has declined by about 40% since its peak in early December.

Indiana's daily average of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases has dropped during that time by about half, and its hospitalizations from the disease are down by nearly 40% from their peak after a steep surge that began in September.

In Allen County, 153 more residents tested positive for COVID-19. No new deaths were reported. A total of 547 residents have died from COVID-19, the Allen County Department of Health said.

The DeKalb County Health Department confirmed 25 new COVID-19 cases. The number of COVID-19 deaths in the county remained 73 as no new deaths were reported Friday.

Huntington County Community Schools officials issued a statement Friday saying they are aware of concerns about using Crestview Middle School as a COVID-19 vaccination site. 

Interim Public Health Officer Matt Pflieger said the health department plans to vaccinate more than 500 people next week, with that number rising in the following weeks.

Everyone involved in the vaccination site will be confined to the Crestview main gymnasium. No Crestview students or staff will have access to the main gymnasium while it is being used for vaccinations, officials said.

Huntington County Disaster Team Inc. will be at Crestview to help direct traffic into the parking lot for people to receive the vaccine.

Law enforcement will be present to ensure the safety and security of the vaccination site and Crestview staff and students. A designated restroom will be available for the vaccination site and will not be available for use by Crestview students and staff. 

Gov. Eric Holcomb said Thursday that he might consider revisions to his executive order imposing crowd size limits based on each county's risk level for coronavirus spread. But that is tempered by the state not broadening vaccine eligibility beyond health care workers and those age 70 or older because of limited dose availability from the federal government.

Jim Chapman of The Journal Gazette contributed to this story.

New cases

Adams: 6

Allen: 153

DeKalb: 25

Huntington: 21

Kosciusko: 29

LaGrange: 8 (1 death)

Noble: 34

Steuben: 15

Wabash: 17

Wells: 7

Whitley: 28 (1)

Sources: Indiana Department of Health, Allen County Department of Health, DeKalb County Health Department

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