INDIANAPOLIS — New data from the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis shows COVID-19 trends across the state and in each county.
Researchers believe the dashboard helps to inform Indiana public health leaders and the general public with necessary information during the pandemic.
Analysts want to identify early on where there may be concerning trends.
“I am encouraged, but we also need to remain vigilant,” said Shaun Grannis, VP of data and analytics for Regenstrief Institute.
The new section on their dashboard is divided into different colors to make it easy to understand. The statewide and county trends the Regenstrief Institute is looking at include positive tests, emergency room visits, hospital admissions, ICU admissions and deaths.
As of Monday afternoon, all of those categories statewide except ICU admissions were highlighted in green. That color indicates a decreasing trend.
ICU admissions statewide were highlighted in yellow, which indicates an inconclusive pattern, neither clearly increasing or decreasing.
One week ago, Indiana made it possible for anyone who lives or works in the state to get a COVID-19 test. It came just before all counties moved on to Stage 4 of re-opening. Researchers are continuing to look at the trends to see how the state is managing the pandemic.
“I think the data should provide information to people who need to make the decisions, whether it is at the level of state leadership or local public health leadership or individuals who are trying to make personal risk assessments,” said Grannis.
The data is constantly changing though. The trends on the dashboard are just a snapshot of what’s happening right now. Grannis said it is not intended to be a predictor of future outcomes.
“It is intended to indicate there is a change in the current trend,” he said.
The tool also shows possible areas of concern. As of Monday afternoon, four counties were seeing an uptick in positive test results, and 10 counties were showing “early warning signs” of increased COVID-19 activity. Early warning indicators show that the numbers in the last three days are higher than the previous seven days, which could identify an increasing trend.
“Those areas I want to continue watching more closely,” Grannis said.
The Regenstrief Institute’s data found emergency room visits, ICU admissions and deaths were trending down in Marion County on Monday. One infectious disease doctor in Indianapolis remains cautiously optimistic.
“There has been a very gradual but steady and consistent decline, which is surprising to be honest with you. I would have expected a second peak with the reopening procedures we have been doing by now,” said Dr. Cole Beeler.
Dr. Beeler with IU Health in Indianapolis said they are admitting more people to the hospital, but that is mostly because elective procedures are happening again.
“We want to make sure we continue to practice those measures we know that work against the virus,” said Dr. Beeler.
Opening up testing in the state allows people to make decisions. The Regenstrief Institute said their trend data is another tool to help Indiana focus resources where it is needed.
“Being able to have some guide, some rules to be ale to highlight where there is a particular area of concern,” said Grannis.