A new study from IUPUI estimates more than 180-thousand Hoosiers already had coronavirus without being aware of it.
As reported by WIBC’s Eric Berman, randomized testing by the Fairbanks School of Public Health found about one in 60 Hoosiers had the virus, and another one in 90 showed antibodies, indicating they’d had it previously without knowing it.
“That means that nearly 11 times the number of people have or have had the virus than previously realized,” Berman explained to WIBC’s Hammer and Nigel Show Wednesday afternoon, “and that’s because nearly half the people who contract Coronavirus doesn’t have any symptoms,” he added.
Berman noted that the study was unique in that the sample data came from a randomized group of people rather than symptomatic individuals and those working in ‘high-risk’ environments such as healthcare facilities.
“This is the 1st test to choose people at random, balanced by demographics, which revealed an infection rate of 3%,” Berman said.
The good news is that large number of previously undetected cases puts Indiana’s death rate at just 0.58% – one-tenth of what the official data had previously indicated.
“The problem with that, however, is that the death rate for COVID-19 is still roughly six times higher than the flu,” cautioned Berman, “and Coronavirus is far more contagious than the flu because so many people who are infected wind up being asymptomatic.”
He continued: “So it’s good news on the individual level because if you do get the virus, there’s a 50% that you’re not even going to notice and only a 0.58% chance that you’re going to die from it. But on a community level, one out of every 172 people who contract the disease is going to die.”
Berman noted that the majority of scientific models project anywhere from 20-60% of Americans will contract the virus because it’s so infectious.
“And that’s where it gets scary,” he explained. “Because if you take 20% of Indiana’s total population times a 0.58% death rate, that’s close to 8,000 people, according to the most optimistic projections.”
Meanwhile, Indianapolis will take its first steps out of lockdown on Friday, but will still lag behind most parts of the state, as detailed in an afternoon press conference by Mayor Joe Hogsett.
The city will allow stores and malls to reopen at half capacity on Friday, followed by the lift of the ban on outdoor dining at restaurants on May 22.
Indoor dining will remain off-limits for the rest of the month, while personal services businesses like hair and nail salons remain closed, along with factories not classified as essential.
Governor Holcomb has exempted houses of worship from a ban on mass gatherings larger than 25 people; however, Hogsett says churches and synagogues in Marion County will remain subject to the restrictions.
Eric Berman break down the details of Mayor Hogsett’s press conference and what kind of scenarios could derail the current plan to lift restrictions in the clip below.
Photo: Andolou Photos/Getty Images