The state of Indiana reported 605 new cases and 63 additional deaths due to COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Indiana has given over 4,000 new tests in the past 24 hours.
Indiana has acquired a new system that will allow healthcare workers to decontaminate N95 masks to reuse them. Each mask can be cleaned up to 20 times, which will vastly improve the amount of PPE available for healthcare workers.
The state also announced they will be training 500 individuals to help with contact tracing in the state. These funds will come through a company called Maximus. The jobs will require an online training program, and a college degree is not required to apply.
Contact tracing involves identifying individuals who have tested positive for an illness and asking questions about who they were in contact with during their infectious period, then notifying those close contacts of their exposure. Historically, local health departments have led this function, with assistance from the Indiana State Department of Health when requested.
“Our local health departments have been doing an incredible job with contact tracing for #COVID19, but we know that as the number of cases increases, the strain on local resources will be significant,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “This centralized approach will free up local health departments to connect people with supportive services in their communities, help with large outbreaks in congregate settings and continue to provide other essential public health services, such as immunizations.”
Plans call for hiring at least 500 employees, who will be trained in contact tracing and investigations by ISDH subject matter experts. The call center is expected to be operational around May 11.
(This story was originally published on April 29, 2020)
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