The state of Indiana is doing “really, really well” in testing people for coronavirus, according to Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of health for the Trump administration.
“This week, Indianapolis has gotten out of the red zone and into the yellow zone. That’s a really good thing. You still have a few metro areas in Indiana that are still in the red, hot zone. You’re doing the things you need to do. Your percent positive in the last seven days for Indiana is about 7%. You’re testing really, really well. You guys have done almost 120,000 tests in the last week in Indiana. Keep the effort up,” said Giroir in an interview Tuesday morning with 93 WIBC.
Giroir also cleared up some confusion on coronavirus testing.
“Not everyone needs a test. For example, people who are in the hospital need one. They need a diagnosis so they can get our new treatments. What we want to avoid is people saying, ‘I need to go get a test because I want to know.’ That doesn’t help you. That only means you’re negative at that moment. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be negative on the next day or the next. We are not in a position that everybody can just wake up in the morning and say, ‘I want to go get a test.’ We do not have that many tests,” said Giroir.
Giroir, however, did say they do have enough coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test.
“But we know how to win now. It’s doing very simple measures. Avoid crowded indoor spaces like bars. Avoid crowded restaurants. Wear a mask in public and have good hygiene.
Giroir says the U.S. is in a much better place now than it was in March or April to fight the pandemic.
“Even though the media says that we have so many more cases than we did in April, the reality is that we probably have about the same or actually less. I say that because we are testing so many more people than we were before. Yes, we do have a problem now, but the gloom and doom that we’re worse than April is not correct. We’re testing a lot more and identifying more cases and that’s a good thing,” said Giroir.
Giroir said reopening schools won’t be an easy decision, but also said there are a number of ways to safely reopen schools if the virus is reasonably under control.
“It is reasonably under control in Indiana. There needs to be social distancing. You might have to have some alternate schedules. It’s very important, though, to get children back in school physically for at least a certain amount of time each week. The more we have schools closed, the more the underserved population gets further and further behind,” said Giroir.