State officials provide updates on coronavirus battle


Indiana State Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box today said the state’s number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has continued to decrease.

On April 2, the state reported 167 COVID-19 patients had been admitted to hospitals throughout Indiana. By May 5, that number dropped to 99.

State officials reported the results of a data analysis of the Indiana Network for Patient Care research database, which analyzed 22,633 distinct patients with COVID-19 positive tests since March 1 using hospital data. Of the distinct patients, 6,136 visited emergency departments (27 percent), 4,389 have been hospitalized (19 percent) and 990 have been admitted to intensive care units (four percent). In total, the data analysis revealed 3,052 of the 4,389 distinct patients hospitalized had been discharged (70 percent), and 14 percent are still in the hospital. To date, the analysis concluded 16 percent of COVID-19 hospitalized patients have died from the disease.

Box today announced the state received an initial shipment of remdesivir, an antiviral drug, from the federal government. Recent clinical trials have shown the drug may help shorten the duration of the disease in COVID-19 patients. The FDA recently granted emergency approval of the drug for the treatment of COVID-19. The drug has been used to treat genetically similar diseases, including and SARS.

“We are working with local officials to determine the appropriate patients to treat with this medication,” Box said.

By early next week, Box said the state would be able to release preliminary findings from the scientific study it is conducting with the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI. In its first phase, the study recruited and tested 4,611 Indiana residents between April 26 and May 1. State officials hope to use the study to determine the spread of the new coronavirus in Indiana. By using a smaller, representative population in the study, researchers will be able to use the study’s findings to provide a scientific estimate of how many have or have previously had the virus without needing to test most or all Indiana residents.

State officials said initial April revenue collections were estimated to be just fewer than $2.2 billion. Actual estimates were reported to be a little over $1.2 billion for the month, a shortfall of almost a billion dollars. State officials attributed most of the shortfall to estimated income taxes initially due in April that will potentially be paid by July 15, the new tax filing date. Historically, most of the state’s April revenue collections each year have been attributed to tax collections.