State reports more job losses, adds measures to battle coronavirus

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Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development Commissioner Fred Payne reported at a press conference today that 133,639 Indiana residents filed initial unemployment claims in the week ending April 4, the second most in Indiana’s history.

The previous week, the state reported 139,174 Indiana residents filed initial unemployment claims, the most ever reported in a one-week span.

In the two weeks prior to that, 2,596 claims were filed in the week ending March 14 and 59,755 claims on the week ending March 21.

And in the month of April, so far, the state has issued 175,195 unemployment insurance payments, compared to only 71,000 during the entire month of April last year.

The sharp uptick comes after Indiana and most other states issued stay-at-home orders in response to the spread of the new coronavirus. For more information regarding unemployment claims and benefits, state officials encourage residents to visit unemployment.in.gov.

Gov. Eric Holcomb also said today that church buildings and other physical locations for worship are to be closed, including this Easter weekend. His office offered guidance, saying live streaming services are ideal, but if residents choose to congregate in parking lots for drive-in services, they should not leave their vehicles and maintain safe social distances of every other parking space.

“Get the word, and then get home,” Holcomb said during a press conference.

Holcomb said yesterday that Indiana is still in the “first quarter of this game” against the virus.

To add personnel to assist in the ongoing effort, Holcomb signed an executive order Tuesday allowing retired and inactive EMS professionals to join the fight against the virus.

The executive order permits retired and inactive EMS professionals to provide supplemental health care services in Indiana during the public health emergency without reinstatement or approval by the Indiana EMS Commission if they work under the supervision of a licensed EMS or health care professional, according to a press release.

According to the executive order, retired and inactive EMS professionals are also allowed to provide primary patient care for patients as part of emergency response, transports and facilities with a temporary certification or licensure from the Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security.


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