Indiana is joining the growing number of states ordering residents to remain in their homes to help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. In an address to the state, Governor Eric Holcomb called on Hoosiers stay home except when they are at work, or for permitted activities such as taking care of others, obtaining necessary supplies, and for health and safety.
The order, which can be viewed by clicking here, will be in effect from March 25 to April 7.
“The next two weeks are critical if we are to slow the spread of COVID-19, and we must slow the spread,” said Holcomb. “You must be part of the solution, not the problem. I’m setting the example by sending state government personnel home to work to the maximum extent possible and closing our facilities to public interaction beginning Tuesday, for at least the next two weeks.”
As of Monday morning, Indiana has 259 positive cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths have been reported. The governor’s office says nearly 2,000 tests have been completed since the first positive case was reported on March 6.
You can watch Holcomb’s address below, courtesy of our partner at WISH-TV:
The governor has issued four executive orders. One states all state government offices will be closed to in-person public activity until at least
April 7, including all Bureau of Motor Vehicle branches. In conjunction with those closures, Holcomb ordered an automatic extension of all state-issued licenses and will advise law enforcement to refrain from issuing citations for expired licenses or registrations during the emergency.
Additionally, the state is partnering with the city of Indianapolis and all hospital systems in Marion County to activate a comprehensive emergency operations center to “maximize hospital capacity and provide joint coordination.”
The EOC will be responsible for tracking the inventory of all hospital beds, supplies and personnel as the number of COVID-19 patients grows.
“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,” said Holcomb. “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.”
You can view more details on the executive orders below:
- Stay at Home. Provides for essential and non-essential business and operations, infrastructure, government services, travel, and activities outside of one’s home. Click here for answers to frequently asked questions regarding the stay-at-home order.
- Continuity of State Operations. Provides for the continuing operation of state government from 5 p.m. today through 8 a.m. April 7 with restricted access to government buildings and services.
- Enforcement Directive Regarding Prohibition of In-Person Dining.
- Health departments will deliver letters ordering restaurants that continue to provide in-person dining to cease such operations. If they do not comply, fines will be levied.
- For restaurants with alcohol permits that continue to offer in-person dining, the ATC will issue an order in writing for the establishment to cease such operations. If the activity continues, the ATC will suspend the entity’s liquor license and will consider the non-compliance at the time of permit renewal.
- Directs that state and local boards of health and the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) take all available administrative and enforcement actions against establishments that continue to offer in-house dining services, in violation of the governor’s executive order of March 16.
- Provisions for carryout consumption of alcohol.
- Relaxes the sale of carryout alcoholic beverages for dining establishments. This includes establishments that allow for on-premises consumption only and those that are permitted carryout permits dependent on a percentage of on-premises sales.
Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer released the following statement after the governor’s address:
“The Governor didn’t make today’s decision lightly – it was out of necessity to protect the citizens of Indiana as we fight our way through this pandemic. We applaud Gov. Holcomb for allowing businesses that provide essential services either directly or through supply chains to continue their operations to the best of their ability.
The announcement obviously will impact more employers and their workers. There is no way around that and the economic disruptions that will accelerate. But we want employers to know that we are here for them. The Indiana Chamber will do everything it can to help get the business community through this and recover as quickly as possible.”
Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) also released a statement:
“Rest assured, the governor and all state leaders are working together to engage necessary resources to protect our most vulnerable while understanding the tremendous urgency to get employees and businesses back to work as soon as possible. We all have to pull together now and do our part to protect our families, friends and communities, so that we can accelerate our state’s recovery.”
Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore Rod Brady (R-Martinsville):
“Today the governor made the difficult decision to order all Hoosiers who are able to stay at home to do so except for essential purposes. State leaders, myself included, recognize that this is a difficult decision to make – it is hard on our economy and it is hard on Hoosiers who want and need to work. However, it is our hope that making these tough choices now will ultimately shorten the life of the virus and the effect it is having on our public health and economy. We do not want our health care system to become overwhelmed to the point it must turn people away. We can work to avoid that by heeding the governor’s advice.”