Live updates: State closes K-12 schools until May; 17 more positive cases reported

Central Indiana coronavirus update for March 19, 2020

We’ll be providing updates throughout the day on Thursday in this story.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — New COVID-19 numbers been released by the Indiana State Department of Health.

A total of 17 new positive cases have been reported. Indiana’s total now stands at 56.

ISDH says 380 people have been tested, including 187 on Wednesday.

Two Hoosiers have died due to COVID-19. An interactive tracker by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University lists zero recoveries in Indiana.

County-by-county breakdown of positive cases:

  • Adams – 1
  • Bartholomew – 1
  • Boone – 1
  • Clark – 1
  • Fayette – 1
  • Floyd – 1
  • Franklin – 2
  • Hamilton – 2
  • Hendricks – 4
  • Howard – 5
  • Jennings – 1
  • Johnson – 3, including one death
  • Lake – 4
  • LaPorte – 1
  • Madison – 1
  • Marion – 19, including one death
  • Noble – 1
  • Owen – 1
  • St. Joseph – 3
  • Tippecanoe – 1
  • Wayne – 1
  • Wells – 1

New cases were reported in Howard (3), Lake, Marion (8), Owen, St. Joseph (2), Tippecanoe and Wayne counties.

On Thursday morning, Governor Eric Holcomb announced that small businesses in Indiana would be able to get financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and nonprofits can receive up to $2 million in low-interest loans. The rates for small businesses are 3.75%. The rates for nonprofits are 2.75%. Terms are up to 30 years.

More info can be found here, by calling 1-800-659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. The deadline to apply is Dec. 18, 2020.

Update 7:55 p.m.

Indianapolis Public Schools announced Thursday it was partnering with Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana to provide meals for all IPS students and families in central Indiana during the coronavirus crisis.

IPS buses will pick up and deliver meal packages to 25 locations throughout the city beginning Friday. Click here for a list of pickup locations and times.

Update 7:19 p.m.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard ordered the closure of Brookshire Golf Club – except for walking – and the city’s Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Site on Range Line Road.

Update 5:06 p.m.

Indiana officials are considering delaying the state’s primary election as several other states are doing to help ensure voters worried about the coronavirus outbreak can safely cast their ballots, The Associated Press reports. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said Thursday he’s in favor of pushing back Indiana’s May 5 primary but that GOP Secretary of State Connie Lawson was leading discussions with state political party leaders. Ohio and Kentucky are among at least seven states that have delayed primaries and others are considering increased voting by mail. Indiana Democratic Chairman John Zody said he believed conducting the primary largely by mail was the best option.

Update 5:01 p.m.

The Indiana Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor says Indiana’s 211 help line is available statewide for consumers needing financial assistance resources.

Update 4:58 p.m.

Kohl’s says it’s closing all its stores at 7 p.m. Thursday until further notice.

Update 4:37 p.m.

A Lebanon fire department announced a free grocery and supply delivery service for its residents on Thursday. According to Center Township Fire Department, the service will be free and available to citizens who are quarantined or the elderly who may be at risk if they are in public.

Members of the fire department will make deliveries for as long as it is needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents interested in receiving the service are asked to call 765-482-1729 or email info@centertwpfire.com.

Update 4:01 p.m.

The arts community has launched the Indy Arts & Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. The public campaign goal totals $75,000 with the match and the total Relief Fund is expected to exceed $225,000.

Update 3:38 p.m.

The IHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament has officially been canceled. You can read more on that here.

Update 3:32 p.m.

The Greenfield-Central school district says a staff member at Greenfield Intermediate School has contracted COVID-19.

The staff member, who was not identified due to federal law, was last in contact with the school community on March 9.

“Health Department officials have noted that concerned individuals should remain in self-quarantine until March 23rd,” said a letter from the school district posted on Facebook.

Update 2:13 p.m.

Subaru of Indiana Automotive in Lafayette is suspending production from March 23-March 29.

Update 2:05 p.m.

The Marion County Emergency Operations Center has been upgraded to Level 1 status.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation that requires an unprecedented response from our community,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett in a statement. “Having our public safety and public health agencies in constant communication ensures the paramedics, firefighters, officers, and healthcare professionals on the frontlines of this crisis have the most up-to-date information and are best prepared to keep themselves and the residents we all serve safe.”

Update 1:40 p.m.

Henry County is now under an “orange” travel alert, allowing only essential travel.

Update 1:14 p.m.

Gov. Holcomb has announced more actions.

At a 1 p.m. press conference, the governor announced all K-12 public schools to be closed until May 1. Non-public schools are also to be closed.

State-mandated assessments for the school year have been canceled.

The current state of emergency will be extended an additional 30 days after it expires on April 5.

The state will waive job search requirements for people applying for TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families).

State income tax payments are now due July 15, 90 days beyond the current deadline of April 15. Individual tax returns and corporate tax returns are also due on July 15.

Update 11:23 a.m.

The Tippecanoe County Health Department is sharing more info about the county’s first case. TCHD says it is a presumptive positive case involving a person who had recently traveled to Paris. The patient is hospitalized at IU Arnett Hospital.

Timeline of coronavirus in Indiana

  • 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 May 3. 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.

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