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COVID-19 cases decrease at colleges in Marion County

Posted at 3:32 PM, Oct 15, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Public Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine gave an update on COVID-19 in Marion County.

During the update, Caine said COVID-19 cases are trending downward with college-age Marion County residents.

This isn't a surprise to some students and staff at IUPUI who say they have been putting in the effort to help keep COVID-19 away.

"Our campus also does mitigation testing, so we all get randomly tested," Tyler Clark, an IUPUI student, said. "We also have contact tracing in the classrooms. I think we all enjoy learning in person. So, I think we all took it as an initiative to come back to campus. We all enjoy being with each other. Being online was a culture shock for a lot of us so I think we all took the necessary steps to come back to campus."

Data from the Marion County Public Health Department show a rise in COVID-19 cases at the beginning of the school year in August but have since dropped.

"In fact today in class a student took off her mask for like five seconds to take a drink of water the professor immediately got on it and said don't forget, keep your mask on," Maggie Neawedde, an IUPUI student, said.

"I really like how they're doing the seating," Madi Broyles, an IUPUI student, said. "Everyone stays at their assigned seat every single class and they also use that to track everybody just in case someone does have contact with anybody that has COVID-19."

Other updates from the press conference are below:

  • Hogsett says the COVID-19 rates in schools are steady.
  • Mitigation restrictions will remain the same, Hogsett said.
  • Neighborhoods and communities are encouraged to safely plan for fall activities.
  • Hogsett reminds people of the Marion County Public Health Department recommendations for Halloween activities.
  • Hogsett asks people to put their neighbor’s health in front of their own comfort and be mindful of the things you can do to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Caine reminds people of the risks of the flu during the fall and encourages everyone 6 months and older to get a flu shot.
  • The community spread of COVID-19 is declining, Caine said.
  • The number of newly confirmed cases is a major concern, Caine said. This is something the community needs to be aggressive about. Residents are urged to continue to practice social distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands.
  • The number of people who are visiting emergency departments with COVID-19 symptoms is "slowly creeping up," Caine said. The first-time hospital admissions for people with COVID-19 is also increasing.
  • People aged 20-39 now make up almost 45% of the total COVID-19 cases in the county, Caine said.
  • People over 60-years-old made up more than 38% of the COVID-19 cases at the beginning of the pandemic in March, Caine said. Now, they made up about 11.4% of the cases.
  • The hybrid schedules at schools, wearing masks, extra cleaning, ventilation systems, and education of COVID-19 in schools have helped decrease the number of new cases, Caine said.
  • Caine says they are looking into the data and criteria to allow high school students to return to in-person instruction.
  • Officials have not seen any major cases from Indianapolis Colts games, Caine said. The city will maintain the 12,500 fan capacity at future Colts games.
  • Caine said the county will look at COVID-19 data for at least another week, possibly two weeks, before deciding if more restrictions are needed.
  • “But it is a balancing act with trying to balance from an economic standpoint our businesses versus significant risk to our community where we lose ground in terms of what we are doing,” Caine said. “So we are not going to move back just yet."

You can watch it below: