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ISDH: More than 800 new COVID-19 cases; 55 additional deaths

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – On Friday, the Indiana State Department of Health announced 815 more cases of COVID-19 and 55 additional deaths.

Currently, Indiana stands at 18,630 total COVID-19 cases and 1,062 deaths related to the virus.

There have been 99,639 tests administered in the state of Indiana, according to the department.

ISDH has been providing daily updates here.

Officials in Indiana are not yet providing information on recoveries. Dr. Kris Box has said that information will be available as soon as medical codes are created that will offer COVID-19 recovery information, which the state does not currently have.

According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 3,222,000 confirmed cases worldwide, with more than 993,000 recoveries and more than 228,000 deaths.

In a Friday virtual press conference, Gov. Eric Holcomb and other state officials provided updates on the virus in Indiana.

“Today I can report that thanks to the discipline and actions of 6.7 million Hoosiers, we are ready to move ahead in a measured way,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said Friday, introducing the state’s five-stage plan to reopen.

Holcomb spoke about the Hoosiers who have died as a result of COVID-19: “The more than 1,000 Hoosiers we have lost to this disease are not numbers. They are our grandparents, our parents, our children, our friends and neighbors and loved ones.”

Holcomb thanked health care workers who risk their lives to protect the rest of us: “In our greatest hour of need, you all are there for us.”

He also thanked essential workers keeping people safe and fed, “folks we took for granted just weeks ago.”

Holcomb presented the four guiding principles leading the state’s approach to “getting Indiana back on track.”

Those principles are: monitoring the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the state, maintaining a decrease over 14-day period; keeping up the surge capacity of ICU beds and equipment; having the ability to test all Hoosiers with COVID-19 symptoms; and having the ability to conduct contact tracing for all positive cases, through a centralized contact tracing program.

The state will be distributing $300 million to counties, cities and towns, by population, as part of the first installment of the coronavirus relief fund.

Centralized contact tracing will begin May 11. All Hoosiers who test positive in the future will receive a text, email and call from one of the 500 contact tracers currently being trained, Holcomb said. The tracers will identify people potentially at risk and identify resources they need.

The Five-Stage Road Map

The goal is to have Indiana back on track by July 4, all subject to change as new guidance is available, and as the four principles can be kept up.

Since March 24, when the “stay at home” order went into effect, we’ve been hunkered down: This was Stage 1, Holcomb said.

Since Monday, Hoosiers have resumed elective medical procedures.

Stage 2: May 4

Stage 2 will roll out during the next three weeks, starting May 4. Marion and Lake counties, the two most populous may begin Stage 2 on May 11. And Cass County, which recently had an outbreak, may start on May 18 so that they don’t overwhelm the area health care system.

Hoosiers 65 and over and those with high-risk conditions should remain at home as much as possible.

Restrictions will be eased in a measured way, but local governments could continue more stringent guidelines, Holcomb said.

Essential travel restrictions will be lifted and gatherings permitted up to 25 people. State government offices will begin to open for limited interaction with the public. Manufacturing that had not been considered essential will be able to open.

Retail (apparel, jewelry, furniture, liquor stores) will be able to open at 50% capacity. Shopping malls can reopen at 50% capacity with indoor common areas at 25% capacity.

Restaurants and bars that serve food can open May 11 at 50% capacity, but bar seating must remain closed.

Personal services — salons, spas, barber shops, tattoo parlors — can reopen May 1 by appointment only and must follow social distancing guidelines.

Holcomb said anyone who can work from home is encouraged to continue to do so.

Starting May 8, for all 92 counties, Indiana worship services may convene, following specific guidelines. Those 65 and older or high-risk are asked to stay home. Holcomb says he prefers that congregations continue virtual services or have outdoor services. Those guidelines can be found here.

Stage 3: May 24

At that time, people with at-risk conditions and those over the age of 65 can venture out cautiously, Holcomb said.

Those who can work remotely should continue to do so.

Social gatherings of up to 100 people will be permitted.

Retail stores and malls can move to 75% capacity. Movie theaters can open at 50% capacity. Playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, pools, campground, gyms and fitness centers may open with restrictions and social distancing.

The state will continue to monitor hospital admissions, capacity to test Hoosiers and analyze the contact tracing data. Stage 4 will begin on June 14. with face coverings optional, zoos and museums opening at 50% capacity and gatherings of up to 200 people.

During stages 2 and 3, face coverings are recommended, according to guidance released Friday afternoon by the governor’s office.

Stage 4: June 14

Assuming the state makes the desired progress, Stage 4 will begin June 14, Holcomb said.

Face coverings in public places will be optional.

Social gatherings of up to 250 people can take place, and large venues can reopen with adherence to social distancing guidelines.

State government buildings will reopen to the public. Professional office building employees can resume work at full capacity.

Retail stores and malls can open at full capacity, with social distancing guidelines in place.

Dining room service can be open at 75% capacity and bar seating can open at 50% capacity.

Cultural, entertainment and tourism activities can open at 50% capacity. That includes zoos, museums, bowling alleys, aquariums. Recreational sports and tournaments can resume. Amusement and water parks can reopen at 50% capacity.

Stage 5: July 4

The goal is to have all areas of the state reach Stage 5 beginning July 4. Social distancing will continue.

Fairs, festivals and sporting events can resume.

Gyms, restaurants, bars, retail and personal services can increase to full capacity.

Restrictions will be lifted at amusement parks, water parks and similar facilities. During Stage 5, the state will consider how to approach the upcoming school year, Holcomb said.

“As life starts to slowly return to that new normal, making progress toward being fully back on track will require, require constant vigilance from all of us as we lift restrictions, and more people return to work, visit a store or restaurant and participate in more activities. The number of COVID-19 cases will likewise increase. If we cannot continue to meet our four guiding principles, all of portions of the state may need to pause or even return to an earlier phase of our ‘stay at home’ order. This is up to each and every one of us, all of us,” Holcomb said.

Before taking questions, Holcomb announced that the father of Dr. Kristina Box, Indiana’s health commissioner, had died. Box had been absent from the last several state briefings. He asked Hoosiers to keep Box in their thoughts and prayers.

Questions from the press

A reporter asked, what was the point of the “stay at home” order if we’re going to see more cases and more deaths as the state reopens the economy? Was it to save lives or to get hospital capacity up?

Holcomb said the state wants to be in the position to care for anybody who has the virus and to have the resources to do that. He said the state has those resources under control, and the places with higher cases — Cass, Lake and Marion counties — are not entering the next phase of the state’s plan yet.

“Without a therapeutic or a vaccine, unfortunately we’re going to lose people all over the world. You can lock down the whole thing. So our effort going forward will be all about managing through this crisis. I’m praying for a vaccine but we’ve got to do what we can do right now. And we’re taking the responsible steps and allowing folks to responsibly and safely return to some normal aspects of their life,” Holcomb said.

Dr. Lindsay Weaver, with the Indiana State Department of Health, said the “stay at home” order allowed the most vulnerable people to be kept safe, gave hospitals and health care providers time to prepare and allowed the state to learn more about the virus.

In response to a question about local municipalities keeping tighter restrictions than the statewide ones, Holcomb said his reflex will be to support a local official and that the state will continue to partner with local governments.

Under Indiana law, local communities can be more strict than the state’s executive order, via ordinance or other methods, if they think the circumstances they’re dealing with warrant it, said Joe Heerens, the governor’s general counsel.

About enforcement of the guidelines, Holcomb said he does trust Hoosiers and 99% of Hoosiers have been doing the right thing and making sacrifices. He said the state will continue to follow up on reports it receives, but no state in the country has sufficient law enforcement to follow up on every rumor.

“If people look for openings and shortcuts and believe that this virus won’t affect them like it does others, then we may slip and that will force us as a state to come over top and start suppressing again. That’s not what we want to do. We want to stay on this path,” Holcomb said.

Dr. Jennifer Sullivan of the Family and Social Services Administration said child care has remained open and FSSA has supported the facilities that did close and are in the process of reopening.

Holcomb addressed a questioned about an increase in cases in Lake County, saying the state did send word to Illinois and all neighboring states about Indiana’s plan.

Brig. General Dale Lyles, the adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard, said supply capacity is being monitored in Lake County and that they have stationed excess capacity at the Gary armory as surge capacity is needed in Lake County.

Weaver said hospital capacity is part of the thinking of keeping three counties behind on Stage 2 but not including the counties surrounding those areas. She said we should expect to see some additional cases with increased travel.

Regarding mask-wearing for general public, Weaver suggested washing your mask after you wear it. By wearing a mask, you’re protecting others, she said.

The testing portal should be open Monday, with 20 testing sites opening Wednesday. The locations were based on population and cases. The next 30 sites will be chosen in a similar way, engaging local health departments to help choose.

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  • 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.