Governor Eric Holcomb is partnering with six other Midwest governors to coordinate efforts to reopen the economy in the region. In a joint statement, the governors said “we are eager to work together to mitigate the economic crisis this virus has caused in our region.”

The partnership involves Governors Gretchen Whitmer (MI), Mike DeWine (OH), Tony Evers (WI), Tim Walz (MN), JB Pritzker (IL), and Andy Beshear (KY). They say they will work in close coordination to reopen the states’ economies “in a way that prioritizes our workers’ health.”

The governors say four factors will be considered when determining the best time to reopen the economy: sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations, enhanced ability to test and trace, sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence, and best practices for social distancing in the workplace. 

“We look forward to working with experts and taking a fact-based, data-driven approach to reopening our economy in a way that protect families from the spread of COVID-19,” the governors said in a news release. “Our number one priority when analyzing when best to reopen our economy is the health and safety of our citizens. We will make decisions based on facts, science, and recommendations from experts in health care, business, labor, and education.”

During his daily briefing Thursday, Governor Holcomb said when the economy does reopen, it will be a rolling, methodical process.

“It won’t be like flipping on a light switch where everything is immediately back to normal,” said Holcomb. “We didn’t arrive here overnight and we’re not going to get out of the woods overnight. That’s exactly why, though, we want to gather all the economic information right now in terms of that economy coming back online through our various sectors in the state of Indiana.”

Governor Holcomb’s stay at home order is currently set to expire on Monday. However, WIBC/Network Indiana Statehouse Bureau Chief Eric Berman says the governor is expected to update his plans for the order during Friday’s afternoon briefing.

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