Holcomb directs Hoosiers to stay at home

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Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb delivered a statewide address today to order Indiana residents to remain in their homes except when conducting essential work, business or errands. The order will be in effect from March 25 to April 7.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb

“The next two weeks are critical if we are to slow the spread of COVID-19, and we must slow the spread. You must be part of the solution, not the problem,” Holcomb stated.

Holcomb said he is sending nonessential state government personnel home to work and is closing facilities to public interaction beginning Tuesday, for at least the next two weeks.

Beginning Tuesday, all state government offices will be closed to in-person public activity until at least April 7, according to a press release. This includes the Government Center complex in Indianapolis and other offices throughout the state, including Bureau of Motor Vehicle branches. State employees will work remotely whenever possible and continue to provide core functions online and by phone. All public safety functions will continue.

In conjunction with the closures, Holcomb ordered an automatic extension of all state-issued licenses and will advise law enforcement to refrain from issuing citations for a driver’s license or registration that expires during this emergency. He said deadlines related to licensing would be extended by 60 days.

The state, in conjunction with the city and all hospital systems in Marion County, has activated a comprehensive emergency operations center to maximize hospital capacity and provide joint coordination between the five county hospitals: Eskenazi Health, IU Health, Franciscan Health, Community Health Network, and Ascension hospitals. The center is charged with tracking the inventory of all hospital beds, supplies and personnel as the number of COVID-19 patients grows.

In Indiana, the first positive case of COVID-19, the disease stemming from the new coronavirus, was reported on March 6. Since then the number of positive cases has increased on a near daily basis, escalating as the capacity to test has grown. As of this morning, the number of tests completed in Indiana is 1,960, the number of positive cases is 259 and 7 deaths have been reported, as of this time.

“I am proud of our hospital systems that are participating in the initial phase of this process, Eskenazi Health, IU Health, Franciscan Health, Community Health Network, and Ascension,” Holcomb stated. “Marion County is where we’ve seen the most community spread to date, but we will expand this model to other parts of the state.”

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