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Holcomb extends coronavirus emergency declaration for 19th time

Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks at a news conference Sept. 28, 2021, at the newly renamed Gainbridge Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis. (Photo Provided/Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb's Office via Facebook )

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Gov. Eric Holcomb on Monday issued his 19th renewal of the state’s emergency declaration during the coronavirus pandemic.

The declaration can clear the way for Indiana to receive federal funds and others assets to respond to COVID-19. Indiana State Department of Health said Thursday that 3,482 more Hoosiers have tested positive for COVID-19, and a total of 15,165 Hoosiers have died from COVID-19. There are currently 2,055 Hoosiers hospitalized with COVID-19.

The state’s emergency declaration was extended through Oct. 31.

The governor also issued a continuation of an order allowing him to make and amend the state’s response to the pandemic, suspend rules that may hinder that response, move personnel for emergency services, and redirect other state resources. The continuation also expires Oct. 31.

Some of what the order allows:

  • Temporarily licensing of health care workers and students.
  • Changes in registration requirements for certain Indiana and out-of-state health care providers.
  • An expansion of limits on what people can administer COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • The Department of Workforce Development to augment its workforce as long as it remains authorized by federal law.
  • An indefinite extension on completion dates for law enforcement training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield.
  • A waiver of penalty and interest in taxation for unemployment compensation.
  • Allowances for job-search requirements to receive aid from the program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • A provision pertaining to prescribing amounts of opioid take-home medications remains rescinded.
  • A provision pertaining to the suspension of the one-week waiting period before paying unemployment benefits remains rescinded.
  • Provisions pertaining to a waiver of penalty and interest in taxation of unemployment compensation by the Indiana Department of Revenue is rescinded.
  • Advanced practice registered nurses can provide services at multiple locations as long as they have an existing collaborative agreement on file.
  • Hospitals must report their diversion statuses as well as available beds and ventilators daily to the Indiana State Department of Health.
  • Physicians and nurses are given 30 additional days past Oct. 31 to renew medical licenses and any licenses to prescribe controlled substances.
  • The commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance is to extend prior authorization time frames for open and approved situations. “This extension applies only to prior authorizations for non-emergent surgeries or procedures postponed to ensure sufficient COVID-19 response capabilities.”
  • The commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance is to request that insurers and health maintenance organizations issuing accident and sickness policies waive clinical information requirements for prior authorizations for transfers or discharges of patients at hospitals.
  • Government bodies of public and private remain responsible for local measures and restrictions to curb COVID-19 in their buildings, facilities and grounds. The measures may be more restrictive but not less restrictive than required by state law.
  • K-12 schools and child care facilities must continue contact tracing, providing parental notification to close contacts to allow for monitoring of symptoms, and report all positive COVID-19 cases to state and local health departments and the Family and Social Services Administration.
  • Local governments may not contradict or impose less restrictive requirements than set forth in the governor’s order.