INDIANAPOLIS — Recent COVID numbers show a steady decline in positive cases across the state, but researchers believe the latest snow storm could lead to a drastic drop in positive cases.
“It’s going to be a wacky week of numbers this week I think because with testing sites shut down, vaccination sites shut down, those numbers we’re going to see this week are going to be very low,” said Brian Dixon, director of Public Health Informatics at the Regenstrief. “It may falsely appear that COVID has disappeared, but it has not, we’re slowly coming down.”
Being stuck at home will help curb the spread, as Hoosiers with COVID tend to be more infectious in those first few days. Nonetheless, Dixon says it may not make up for the skew in testing.
Private testing companies like Aria Diagnostics have seen a 50% decline in testing in recent weeks, but an increase in at-home tests may play a role in that factor. Aria does expect another spike to come in a few weeks when testing normalizes.
“Its hard to predict because if they were snowed in, and positive, then you would expect the people they were snowed in with to also test positive,” said Vipin Adhlakha, president of Aria Diagnostics. “We calculate our positive rate by the number of positives over the total number tested. Since our total number of tests have gone down, but our positives remained the same, our positivity rate is a little higher.”
Since the repeal of mandatory testing for companies with more than 100 employees, Aria expects to see more employers continue to send their workers to their testing sites instead of state testing sites. Aria is opening two new testing sites in downtown Indy to accommodate the expected spike.