After a 30-minute delay due to technical difficulties, the Governor convened the briefing by apologizing and noting that we all could have ordered a pizza and had it delivered in that time. He announced that earlier today, that he, the Senate President Pro Tem, and the House Speaker had reached an agreement regarding the conversation that has been ongoing about whether schools that are 100% online will receive 100% of funding for those pupils (current law provides that schools only receive 85% of funding for online students). They are asking the State Board of Education to meet and move the date for conducting the annual count of students from mid-September to later in the school year to allow the Legislature to have time to revisit the issue. Holcomb acknowledged that school leaders have done a “Herculean task” to get school underway and he is committed to keeping the funding secure.
Dr. Box shared that she is happy to see that ICU and ventilator capacity have remained steady the past couple of weeks, but is concerned that there are 964 Hoosiers hospitalized as of August 10th compared to a low of 595 hospitalized in early July. The positivity case rate continues to climb, which also gives her concern. She reminded us that “if we want all kids in the classroom and workers in the office, we can’t behave like everything is normal….contact tracing is showing that spread is often coming from a party or other family gatherings.” The Governor added, “It seems like we’re keeping our guard up when we’re at work and school, but it’s when we let our guard down when in personal situations.”
The state anticipates a public dashboard regarding cases in schools in the coming weeks – they are waiting to have up-to-date school rosters to ensure ISDH knows who to contact about cases, etc. Today, the state is releasing the Long Term Care (LTC) Dashboard to show new and cumulative staff and patient cases and deaths. It will be updated weekly to allow time for verification of the information. To date, there have been 6664 resident cases and 1753 resident deaths since March 5th and 2904 cases and 11 deaths among LTC staff.
Fred Payne, Director of Workforce Development, was asked about the state’s plans for Unemployment Insurance based on the recent Executive Order from President Trump. The state is still awaiting final guidance on the details of that Order, but he did say that it will require updates to the DWD system/process, which will take some time to implement depending on that guidance, much like the initial delay to implement the $600/week payments earlier this year.
New Information and Updates:
- Since last Wednesday’s report, the state has reported 8,089 new positive cases (76,522 total), 98 new deaths (2,878 total), 91,512 new individuals tested (866,994 total), and 133,566 new tests administered (1,097,934 total) – some individuals get tested more than once. The overall positive rate since the beginning of testing is 8.8% and the 7-day positivity rate is 7.7% (through 8/5 – it runs a week behind to allow time for test results to come in) according to the ISDH dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov. There are an additional 208 probable Covid-19 deaths (X-Ray, CT, symptoms & exam consistent w/Covid-19, but no positive test received).
- The state now publishes county-level 7-day positivity rates on the state website. SW Indiana County rates are: Gibson 9.2%, Posey 5.4%, Vanderburgh 10.4%, Warrick 9.24%. Pike County has the highest rate at 18.4%, and Dubois is also above the state average at 18.0%. These numbers are as of August 5th to ensure a more accurate number allowing for test data to get turned into the state. You can find the county-level information by choosing the “Positivity” tab above the map of Indiana.
- There are 200+ testing sites open across the state – each operator has their own requirements about whether an individual must be symptomatic or have underlying conditions and the locations move based on needs and building requirements. The state operated sites are free and open to anyone who wants it regardless of symptoms or risk; register in advance for those by calling 888-634-1123 or at https://lhi.care/covidtesting. If there are no spots available via advance registration, walk ins are available.
Resources & Reminders:
- All of the Governor’s Executive Orders can be found here. In addition to the language in the EO’s, there is helpful industry-specific information in the Industry Guidelines on the “Back On Track Indiana” webpage.
- YourNextStepIN.org is a one-stop shop for those seeking unemployment insurance, childcare, healthcare, food assistance, career coaching, etc.
- The Unemployment Insurance website has up-to-date information including a regularly updated FAQ; dates for webinars posted here and a listing of thousands of available jobs at www.indianacareerconnect.com with frequently planned virtual job fairs.
- Increased funds are available for individuals seeking training through the Workforce Ready Grant program and for employers using the Employer Training Grant program.
- Small businesses and non-profits can order PPE from the state’s PPE Directory. Anyone able to make or donate PPE can contact: PPEDirectory@iedc.in.gov.
- Blood supplies continue to run dangerously low in many Indiana communities. Anyone interested in donating or scheduling a donation drive can learn more at: donation/collection in communities.
- Those needing assistance paying rent should go to: www.IndianaHousingNow.org. Those falling behind on mortgage payments should go to: www.877GetHope.org.
- Check the Wi-Fi Hotspot Map if you need internet access for work or school.
- If you haven’t done so already, complete your 2020 Census at www.my2020census.gov.
- If you or someone you know is contemplating Suicide: call 800-273-TALK, text HOME to 741741, or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Anyone experiencing Domestic Violence can get immediate help at 800-799-7233, text LOVEIS to 866-331-9474, or visit www.thehotline.org/help
- To find a resource for Addiction Recovery, go to: www.in.gov/recovery/
- The IN Department of Education guidance for K-12 schools is available to the public.