Governor Holcomb opened today extending Indiana’s public health emergency order for 30 days (until May 3rd) and extended the “stay-at-home” order for 2 weeks (until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 20). When asked why he wasn’t extending it further or making it more strict, he shared that there may be “tweaks” announced to the order (perhaps incorporating some measures seen in other states) announced on Monday. The new Order is not yet available online and may not be posted until Monday since Executive Order 20-08 isn’t set to expire until then. No other new Executive Orders today.
The Governor also announced that the President has approved Indiana’s state disaster declaration that allows National Guard to get reimbursed for costs incurred for their Covid-19 related duties and local/state governments to receive reimbursement for most expenditures. There is still a request pending for individual assistance.
Today’s briefing focused on mental health, addiction, and the increased anxiety Hoosiers (and all Americans) are feeling right now. As the state has increased telehealth options to receive counseling, the Governor used a portion of the time today for a virtual visit from Dr. Hani Ahmad of the Bowen Center (Indiana’s largest community mental health center). It was a valuable use of time and I suspect that portion of the briefing will be shared online, but isn’t there yet – stay tuned to social media outlets. If you or a loved one are experiencing increased anxiety that is difficult to manage, please:
- Reach out to support groups that are meeting virtually (Facebook, virtual 12-step programs, etc.)
- Ask your insurance provider about telehealth counseling services available to you
- Ask your primary care physician about telehealth counseling and/or medication options that could be helpful
All Hoosiers have access to dial 211 at any time to get help for taking care of yourself and your family (financially, emotionally, etc.). It’s just like dialing 911 in an emergency, but instead dial 211 for someone who can help you find resources available to you. There are also several helpful resources available on The Bowen Center Coronavirus site
Again, the #INThisTogether social media campaign was mentioned several times. If you or your business or community group want to be part of the movement, search for that hashtag on any social media outlet or visit the website at: www.INThisTogetherCampaign.com.
Employee Information & Reminders:
- If you (individual or business) are facing layoffs/furloughs, you are urged to check the Unemployment Insurance website where there is up-to-date information including a regularly updated FAQ. The wait-time for calling in is incredibly long and most information can be found on the website.
- There is an Unemployment Facebook Live event next Wednesday, April 8th at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Learn more about it here.
- The IN Department of Workforce Development is using guidelines issued by the US Department of Labor on administering many of the programs made possible by the CARES Act. They anticipate it will be May 1 before they are fully implemented and making payments under those programs ($600 additional/week benefit, benefits for contractors/self-employed/free-lance/limited work history, etc.)
- If your business can make or donate PPE, contact: COVIDResponse@iedc.in.gov. Or if your business can offer a service or other product (housing for national guard, cooking facilities for mass production of food, etc.), you can also contact: COVIDResponse@iedc.in.gov.
- The SWIN Chamber has put many resources on their website at: www.swinchamber.com
- If an employer has a question about whether they are essential, they can call the hotline at 877-820-0890 between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Eastern time each day. Good answers also available at: www.in.gov/criticalindustries
- Today, a reporter from Bloomberg asked about job retention tax credits the state might consider when through this. The Governor reiterated the strong footing that Indiana was on entering March (3 record years of job commitments, CAPEX investment, and wage increases), and was confident that the predictability and consistency Indiana offered before – and was valued so greatly by the private sector – will quickly resume and enable us to recover more easily when this is past us.
General Covid-19 Response Update
- 3437 confirmed cases and 102 deaths with 17,835 tests reported as of this morning at www.coronavirus.in.gov.
- They have added much more detail to the information available on the site, including county-by-county breakdowns, metrics-by-day (e.g.: when a death actually occurred vs. when it was reported)
When asked about the public wearing masks, Dr. Box responded that first of all, we should not be in the public very long other than for essential errands and for exercise – all the while exercising social distancing. If the public wants to use the homemade masks, that is OK, but N95 and surgical masks should be preserved for healthcare providers.