INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Health will not update its COVID-19 dashboard from Thursday through Sunday over Christmas weekend, according to a notice on the IDOH dashboard.
The announcement has raised concerns among some as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb in Indiana.
According to the notice, the dashboard will be updated again on Monday. IDOH doesn't typically update the dashboard on the weekends.
Micah Pollak, an associate professor of economics at IU Northwest who actively tracks COVID-19 trends and shares statistics on Twitter, said it is the "absolute worst" time to stop updates.
I understand wanting to take time off for the holidays, but this is the *absolute worst* moment to stop updates. While flying blind during these days, #Omicron cases in #Indiana will likely double AT LEAST TWICE. For example, going from 25% to 100% of all cases. /1 pic.twitter.com/oGU6MEfwhi— Micah Pollak (@MicahPollak) December 21, 2021
Pollak said Indiana could see the fastest increase in the spread of COVID-19 "in the history of the pandemic" during these days. He also said it's a terrible message to send "when so many healthcare workers are sacrificing holidays with their families to work in overloaded hospitals."
The number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations in Indiana have been increasing recently. On Tuesday, IDOH reported 118 additional COVID-19 deaths and 3,805 additional positive tests.
WRTV asked IDOH via email Tuesday for a statement about the hiatus at a time when cases are increasing and as some experts question the move. WRTV also asked why the dashboard won't be updated this year in the days around the holidays despite being updated at the same time last year.
IDOH released the following statement to WRTV in an email.
State offices are closed Dec. 23 and 24 to allow employees to celebrate the holiday with family and loved ones. The dashboard will resume its normal update schedule when state offices reopen on Dec. 27.