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Gov. Holcomb extends ‘stay at home’ order to May 1

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Gov. Eric Holcomb on Monday extended the “stay at home” order to May 1.

The order requires Hoosiers to remain in their homes except when they are at work or for permitted activities, such as taking care of others, obtaining necessary supplies, and for health and safety.

Previously, the stay-at-home order was to expire Monday.

After working with the Indiana Hospital Association and the 10 health districts in the state, Holcomb will be reopening elective procedures in a “staged way,” starting Tuesday. On Tuesday, hospitals can conduct procedures to screen and to prevent conditions. On April 27, if the medical supply chain is in good shape, other elective procedures can resume, Holcomb said.

Holcomb clarified that nurseries, greenhouses and pet groomers could already be open for business and said there was more information about how those businesses could operate during the “stay at home” order.

Holcomb said Hoosiers were doing a good job of flattening the curve in most parts of Indiana. He also said the health care network in the state has experienced remarkable collaboration to meet demands.

Holcomb said he was receiving and would continue to receive guidance from Indiana businesses the new safety precautions they would put in place in their workplaces. The state will continue to accept those recommendations until end-of-business Wednesday.

Indiana health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said the state later this week would be including presumptive positive cases in the state’s death total listed on the ISDH website. If a doctor listed COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death for a patient, but there was no virus test done, those deaths will be included. This will cause the death numbers to cause an increase higher than what the state has see, Box said. The deaths are not new, but the state is capturing the deaths that have occurred since the pandemic began and the data is now available, Box said.

ISDH is working on a plan to provide weekly totals for cases at long-term care facilities, Box said. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will soon require facilities to notify residents and their representatives of COVID-19 infections or the onset of respiratory illnesses among residents or staff, Box said. That notification was already required by the state of Indiana, Box said.

Box said there is new guidance for end-of-life care so that more families can assist in the goodbye for individuals losing their loved ones, including those suffering with COVID-19. She said those decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis.

Holcomb talked about the number of doctors, nurses and health care workers in Indiana, calling them “an army .. who is not just talking about it, they’re treating it.”

Spencer County clinic administering antibody tests. Box said that antibody testing going forward would be important but does not tell us anything about someone’s current state. It tells whether someone is immune going forward, potentially, based on their antibodies and there is only one test approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Box said. And some tests have cross-reaction with antibodies for the common cold. She also said it was difficult to know whether the amount of antibodies there would be enough to keep someone immune.

Regarding the weekend protest outside the governor’s mansion, Box said, “I respect the right for anybody to speak out and protest but I would in this time like them to social distance and to wear masks because I am concerned about those individuals becoming ill or, if they’re asymptotic carriers, infection somebody else.”

Holcomb said he respects everyone’s voice but “this would be the exact way not be productive about that. Potentially, it just sets us back. Set aside how almost demoralizing it can be to those front line people that I just talked about, that go into work every single day and who wonder every day if they’re taking that home. But when we just add to that, almost in a flaunting way, it is not helping. There’s nothing government can do to encourage people to care about their neighbor,” Holcomb said.

“There will be a new normal and we will get there. And we’re on the right path,” Holcomb said.

He said the state will get there a lot faster if everyone subscribes to the notion that we’re in this together.

Joseph Heerens, general counsel for the governor, said over the last two weeks, 982 OSHA complaints had been investigated, and 866 of those investigated were found to be without merit. And 74 verbal warnings were issued to businesses. No cease-and-desist orders, no orders to closed and no referrals to prosecutors had been sent in the last two weeks.

Dr. Kristen Dauss, chief medical officer for the Indiana Department of Correction, said the Westville Correctional Facility has worked with ISDH. She said IDOC is working to collect the total number of people tested. They had a record of the number of offenders who are positive and negative but staff members sometimes go to their primary care doctors, and those numbers are harder to know while maintaining people’s privacy.

Box said the state has matched a number of people who volunteer health care workers and that the state was emailing those individuals to see if they are matched, where and how much they were willing to work, etc.

Asked if Indiana can truly reopen without a vaccine, Box said, “Reopening will allow us to gradually open things up and have individuals to be out in community with masks on, continuing their social distancing but allows us to get back to being a productive state again and getting people back to work and to school, which is really important.” But Box said high-risk people may need to continue to work remotely or continue more extreme social distancing until the state has the ability to protect them to a greater extent.

Holcomb talked about ways the return of the workforce will look different and included additional precautions.

Box said the state is encouraging all providers to work with all labs available. Box addresses talk of ISDH turning down tests from Aria Lab. She said they have never turned down any tests and that ISDH got in touch with the lab through Mayor Brainard, and the state got 2,000 swabs from Aria Labs and was grateful to get them.

Adding the presumptive positive deaths to the state’s total counts are important to state and national numbers, Box said. In a clinical setting, a number of factors besides a virus test help physicians understand more about a case. The additions to the count ensure that we are capturing every death that is caused by COVID-19.

The suspension of elective procedures in an earlier executive order was intended to conserve personal protective equipment. The same category of providers listed in that order are listed in the new one, and based on an evaluation between now and Sunday, those elective procedures could resume April 27, Heerens said.

Box said the biggest problem with collecting recovery numbers is that many people had milder symptoms and stayed home, so those numbers are hard to include.

Asked why Indiana is not publishing the names of long-term care facilities where outbreaks have been identified, Box said the state will be providing aggregate numbers of cases at facilities but for now says that information is between residents and facilities.

The missing factor in some areas of the state is the ability of providers to get PPE so they can go in and test, Box said.

What does the state do to keep people from flooding streets as soon as we lift restrictions?

Holcomb said the lifting of restrictions will be incremental and responsible, taking into account how different industries tell the state they will be able to adjust their workplaces.

“We’ll look at shopping malls, we’ll look at theaters and museums, construction … A to Z, and come May 1, we’ll be in a position to put a little more detail on that plan going forward. But again it will be tethered, directly linked to the facts on the ground as they are at that moment,” Holcomb said.

Box said that hospital admissions did not decrease over the weekend. She said ISDH could work on including that data on the website’s dashboard.

The number of possibly related dispatch calls, flu-like symptoms and similar statistics are being tracked by his department as well,” said Dr. Michael Kaufman, Indiana EMS director.

Box said ISDH will get more data on Wednesday or Thursday to assess the peak for most of the state. Box said she is not convinced we have hit that peak but that the state is running much lower than most of the predictions or at the lowest rate that most of the projections showed for the state.

  • March 6: Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) confirms the first case in Indiana. Officials say the Marion County resident had recently traveled to Boston to attend a BioGen conference as a contractor.
  • March 8: ISDH confirms a second case. An adult in Hendricks County who had also traveled to the BioGen conference was placed in isolation. Noblesville Schools announces that a parent and that parent’s children will be self-quarantining after attending an out-of-state event where someone else tested positive.
  • March 9: ISDH’s total of positive cases rises to 4. Avon Community School Corp. had announced on March 8 that a student tested positive; that case, along with another in Noble County, was confirmed by state health officials at a news conference.
  • March 10: ISDH’s total of positive cases rises to 6 as the state launches an online tracker. Purdue and Indiana universities suspend classes for two weeks beyond their spring breaks. Ball State University basketball fans learn the Mid-American Conference tourney will have no fans in the stands. Three businesses operating nursing homes in Indiana announce they will no longer allow visitors.
  • March 11: ISDH confirms four more positive cases in Indiana. The University of Indianapolis announces it will extend its ongoing spring break through March 22. The Indianapolis-based NCAA announces the men’s and women’s Final Four basketball tournaments will be conducted with essential staff and limited family attendance. The Big Ten announces all sports events, including the men’s basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, will have no fans starting March 12. Ball State University announces classes are suspended for the rest of the spring semester. NBA suspends all games, including the Indiana Pacers, until further notice. Butler University extends its spring break, after which it will go to virtual classes.
  • March 12: ISDH’s total of positive cases rises 12. Taylor University cancels international and domestic spring break trips for students and faculty sponsors. Indianapolis’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is canceled. Gov. Eric Holcomb announces new protections that led to extended public school closings and the cancellation of large events across the state. The league including the Indy Fuel hockey team suspends its season. Indy Eleven says it will reschedule four matches, including its April 4 home opener. The NCAA cancels the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The Big Ten suspends all sporting events through the winter and spring seasons.
  • March 13: Gov. Holcomb announces additional actions — they included eliminating Medicaid co-pays for COVID-19 testing and lifting regulations limiting the number of work hours per day for drivers of commercial vehicles — to help stop the coronavirus. Wayzata Home Products, a Connersville cabinet maker, shut down and lays off its entire workforce due to market uncertainty associated with the coronavirus. The Indiana High School Athletic Association postpones the boys basketball tournament. Franklin College says it will have no in-person classes March 16 and 17, start online classes March 18 through at least April 5 and empty residence halls of students by 5 p.m. March 15. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis says it will be closed March 14-28. The Indianapolis Public Library joins other libraries across Indiana and says it will close all facilities until further notice beginning at 5 p.m. March 14.
  • March 14: ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 15. The Indiana Gaming Commission says all licensed gaming and racing operations will close 14 days starting March 16.
  • March 15: ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 19, with 121 tested. St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis announces all elective, non-urgent surgeries are canceled as of Tuesday.
  • March 16: Gov. Eric Holcomb announces the first Hoosier death. ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 24. Holcomb closes bars, restaurants and nightlubs to in-person patrons, while carryout and delivery services will still be allowed.
  • March 17: ISDH announces the second Hoosier death. Indiana’s Catholic bishops announce the cancellation of Sunday and weekday public masses. Gov. Holcomb activates the National Guard to assist as needed with the virus response. Purdue, Butler and Indiana State universities cancel May commencement ceremonies.
  • March 18: ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 39. Eli Lilly and Co. says it will use its labs to speed up testing in Indiana for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The 500 Festival announces suspends all planned, in-person events scheduled through May 9. Simon Property Group closes all malls and retail properties until March 29.
  • March 19: ISDH’s total number of positive cases rises to 56. Gov. Holcomb extends Indiana’s state of emergency into May. Holcomb says all K-12 public schools will be closed until May 1 and nonpublic schools also are to close. Standardized testing was canceled. The state’s income-tax and corporate-tax payment deadline was extended to July 15. Holcomb says the state will waive job search requirements for people applying for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The IHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament was canceled. The Marion County Emergency Operations Center upgrades to Level 1 status.
  • March 20: ISDH reports the third Hoosier death and 23 new cases for a total of 79. Gov. Holcomb moves the state’s primary election to June 2. Indiana University says it is postponing May commencement ceremonies on all campuses. Indiana University Health says it can do limited virus testing.
  • March 21: ISDH reports the fourth Hoosier death, and 47 new cases positive for a total of 126. A total of 833 people have been tested for the virus. Indiana National Guard details how it’s working with the Department of Transportation on distribution of medical supplies to hospitals.
  • March 22: Indiana’s death toll rises to 7. ISDH reports 75 more positive cases.
  • March 23: ISDH reports 259 cases of COVID-19, up from 201 a day earlier. Gov. Holcomb orders Hoosiers deemed nonessential to “stay at home” from March 24-April 7. Eli Lilly & Co. begins drive-thru testing for the coronavirus for health care workers with a doctor’s order. Ball State University cancels the May commencement.
  • March 24: Indiana’s death toll rises to 13. Fred Payne of Indiana Workforce Development says any Hoosiers out of work, including temporary layoffs, are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits.
  • March 25: Indiana’s death toll rises 17. Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces the Indianapolis 500 is moved to Aug. 23. IndyGo suspends fares and changes its ride schedules.
  • March 27: Indiana’s death toll rises to 25. Marion County adds 192 new positive COVID-19 cases, the most of any county in the state for the day, for a total of 484. Indiana has 981 confirmed cases.
  • March 28: Indiana’s death toll rises to 31. Marion County adds 100 new cases, the most of any county in the state, for a total of 584. Indiana has 1,232 confirmed cases.
  • March 29: Indiana’s death toll rises to 32. Marion County adds 92 new positive cases, the most of any county in the state, for a total 676. Indiana has 1,514 confirmed cases. President Donald Trump announces in a press conference that the national social distancing recommendation will be extended by 30 days, to end April 30.
  • March 30: Indiana’s death toll rises to 35. Marion County had the most new cases in the state with 135, for a total of 804. Indiana health commissioner Dr. Kris Box predicted the arrival of the surge in cases and deaths could come in mid-April to late April, but could be as late as mid-May, “but we don’t know.”
  • March 31: Indiana’s death toll rises to 49. Gov. Holcomb extends the limits of bars and restaurants to offer only “to go” and “carry out” through April 6. Health commissioner Box, asked about when Indiana will be in a surge of COVID-19 cases, says she thinks the surge is starting.
  • April 1: Indiana’s death toll rises to 65. Officials extend Marion County’s “stay at home” order through May 1. Marion County health officials say they will start COVID-19 testing services for frontline employees.The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis says it will remain closed until further notice. Gov. Holcomb announces the #InThisTogether campaign.
  • April 2: Indiana’s death toll rises to 78. The state announces K-12 schools will be closed for the rest of the school year. The Indiana High School Athletic Association cancels spring sports seasons.
  • April 3: Indiana’s death toll rises to 102. Gov. Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order through April 20. Indiana officials say the state has received a federal Major Disaster Declaration for all 92 counties. The Indiana National Guard says it, the Army Corps of Engineers and state health officials will begin on Saturday to assess sites for alternate health care facilities.
  • April 4: ISDH reports 14 more deaths, bringing the state’s total to 116. 3,953 Hoosiers have tested positive, with 116 deaths and 19,800 total tests conducted. 
  • April 5: ISDH reports 11 more deaths in Indiana.
  • April 6: Indiana’s death toll rises to 139. The state reports one Madison County nursing home has had 11 deaths. Gov. extends the “stay at home” order through April 20. He also limits additional businesses to carry-out only.
  • April 7: Indiana’s death toll rises to 173. A total of 5,507 Hoosiers have tested positive. Indiana health commissioner Box notes four long-term care facilities have 22 deaths that appear to be related to COVID-19.
  • April 8: Indiana surpasses 200 deaths. Indiana now has 203 deaths and 5,943 confirmed cases. A total of 30,869 Hoosiers have been tested.
  • April 9: ISDH says 6,351 Hoosiers have been tested positive, resulting in 245 deaths. A total of 32,133 Hoosiers have been tested.
  • April 10: ISDH says 6,907 Hoosiers have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in 300 deaths. A total of 35,040 Hoosiers have been tested. ISDH said 24 residents of a long-term care facility in Madison County have died from COVID-related illness.
  • April 11: 30 more deaths are announced, bringing Indiana’s total to 330.
  • April 12: A total of 343 Hoosiers have now died due to COVID-19, according to ISDH. Just under 8,000 cases have been confirmed in Indiana.
  • April 13: Indiana stands at 350 deaths and 8,236 positive coronavirus cases, according to ISDH.
  • April 14: ISDH announces 313 more cases and 37 more deaths, bringing the totals to 8,527 positive cases and 387 deaths.
  • April 15: ISDH announces 49 more deaths for a total of 463. The total of positive cases grows to 8,955.
  • April 16: Indiana reports 477 deaths and 9,542 positive cases. The governor says he expects Indiana to experience a reopening in early May.
  • April 17: ISDH reports 519 deaths and 10,154 positive cases. The governor says that he will be extending the stay-at-home order through May 1, although some restrictions may be lifted in the new order.
  • April 18: ISDH reports 26 more deaths. ISDH says there are now 10,641 positive cases and 545 Hoosiers have died as a result of the virus.
  • April 19: 17 more Hoosiers have died according to ISDH, bringing Indiana’s total to 562.
  • April 20: ISDH reports seven new deaths. ISDH says there are now 11,686 positive cases and 569 deaths related to the virus. Holcomb extended the “stay at home” order to May 1. The governor also said, if the medical supply chain is in good shape, other elective medical procedures can resume April 27.
  • April 21: Indiana reports more than 12,000 positive cases and more than 600 deaths.
  • April 22: Indiana reports 12,438 COVID-19 cases and 661 deaths. The Tyson facility in Logansport voluntarily closes so 2,200 employees can be tested for COVID-19.
  • April 23: Indiana reports 13,039 COVID-19 cases and 709 deaths.
  • April 24: Indiana reports 13,680 COVID-19 cases and 741 deaths. The Indianapolis City-County Council unanimously approved $25 million in an emergency meeting to help small businesses. Fishers City Council creates a city health department with a plan to test every resident.
  • April 25: Indiana reports 14,395 COVID-19 cases and 785 deaths. ISDH launched an antibody testing study for Hoosiers on Saturday. Thousands of residents were randomly selected to participate in the study.
  • April 26: Indiana reports 15,012 positive COVID-19 cases and 813 total deaths.
  • April 27: Indiana reports 15,961 positive COVID-19 cases and 844 total deaths.
  • April 28: Indiana reports 16,588 positive COVID-19 cases and 901 total deaths. Indiana officials say they are opening up COVID-19 testing to more Hoosiers, with expanded criteria and new testing services at 20 sites around the state.
  • April 29: Indiana reports 17,182 positive COVID-19 cases and 964 total deaths. The state said it will spent $43 million on contact tracing.
  • April 30: Indiana reports 17,835 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,007 total deaths. Indianapolis extends its stay-at-home order through May 15.
  • May 1: Indiana reports 18,630 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,062 deaths. Gov. Eric Holcomb announces a phased reopening plan for the state of Indiana. He also extends the stay-at-home order to May 4.
  • May 2: Indiana reports 19,295 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,115 deaths.
  • May 3: Indiana reports 19,993 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,132 deaths.
  • May 4: Indiana reports 583 more COVID-19 cases and 19 additional deaths. The stay-at-home order ends for most of Indiana. That order will end May 11 in Lake and Marion counties, and May 18 in Cass County.
  • May 5: Indiana reports 21,033 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,213 deaths.
  • May 6: Indiana reports 21,870 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,264 deaths. Ivy Tech Community College says it will continue virtual classes when summer courses begin in June.
  • May 7: Indiana reports 22,503 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,295 deaths.
  • May 8: Indiana reports 23,146 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,328 deaths. Cris Johnston, director of the Office of Budget and Management, said the state missed out on nearly $1 billion in anticipated April revenues. All state agencies will be given budget-cutting goals.
  • May 9: Indiana reports 23,732 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,362 deaths.
  • May 10: Indiana reports 24,126 COVID-19 cases in Indiana and 1,379 deaths.
  • May 11: Indiana reports 24,627 COVID-19 cases in Indiana and 1,411 deaths.
  • May 12: Indiana reports 25,127 COVID-19 cases in Indiana and 1,444 deaths.
  • May 13: Indiana reports 25,473 COVID-19 cases in Indiana and 1,482 deaths. The first phase of a state-sponsored study of the coronavirus estimated about 186,000 Hoosiers had COVID-19 or the antibodies for the novel virus by May 1. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced plans for limited reopenings of worship services, retail establishments, the libraries and restaurants.