Holcomb extends stay-home order to May 1

From local sources

INDIANAPOLIS — The executive stay home order for Indiana that expires Monday will be extended to May 1 as planning is underway to reopen parts of the state’s economy, Gov. Eric Holcomb said Friday.

Holcomb said a state task force is seeking ideas from various business sectors on on how they can safely reopen for operators, workers and customers.

Data on the virus and its impact across the state will guide decisions on stay home orders and reopening the economy, Holcomb told reporters.

“We’ve been operating in very responsible, two-week increments in terms of these executive orders so that that allows us to appropriately adjust or accommodate these facts on the ground as they come in,” Holcomb said.

On Friday, Indiana reported 642 new confirmed cases, bringing the state’s total to 10,154. Forty-two new deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, occurred between April 3 and Thursday, bringing the state’s death toll to 519, the Indiana State Department of Health reported. ISDH updates its website daily at about noon.

Thirty of those new deaths occurred Wednesday and Thursday, according to the state agency, which reported another 642 confirmed coronavirus cases had increased Indiana’s total cases to 10,154, following corrections to the previous day’s total.

According to figures reported at noon Friday, 54,785 Indiana residents had been tested for the coronavirus, the department said.

State prison officials said Thursday a northern Indiana prison with the state’s only confirmed prison inmate death from COVID-19 had seen its confirmed coronavirus cases surge to nearly 90.

The Westville Correctional Facility’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have risen from seven to 87, the Indiana Department of Correction said.

As of Thursday afternoon, DOC officials said the prison located about 25 miles east of Gary, accounted for 75% of the 116 inmates statewide who have tested positive the coronavirus, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

State Health Commissioner Kristina Box said Thursday during the state’s daily coronavirus briefing that there continues to be an increase in coronavirus cases in jails and correctional facilities across the state.

Box said earlier in the week she was “cautiously optimistic” that steps such as the statewide stay-at-home order have slowed down the growth of COVID-19 infections and allowed Indiana hospitals to maintain their capacity to treat seriously ill patients.

“We may be seeing that peak flattened and that kind of plateauing effect,” Box said during the governor’s daily coronavirus briefing.

Box said this week she expected the coronavirus illness peak to arrive in late April for the Indianapolis area and the first weeks of May for rest of the state.

Almost 90% of Indiana’s deaths have been among people ages 60 and older as elderly people and those with serious health troubles living in nursing homes are among the most at-risk from COVID-19 infections.

Holcomb’s stay-at-home order that restricts which businesses may be open took effect March 25.

“It would be a much different, much different picture today if Hoosiers weren’t all in this together playing by the rules,” Holcomb said Wednesday. “What we can’t do is pull up short.”

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