COVID-19 Daily Update – Gov. Eric J. Holcomb

Governor Holcomb held his 2nd daily update today with more than 1600 viewers on the State’s broadcast plus thousands more watching through local media options. He plans to do these daily. Anyone interested in watching live should check social media for the Governor’s and media outlets’ accounts to find options for watching. The updates include various state department leaders and allow for Q&A from media in attendance at the end.

Gov. Holcomb Provides Updates in the Fight Against #COVID19.

Posted by Governor Eric Holcomb on Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Employers and Essential Industries Determination

  • Governor is advocating that whenever telework is possible, that should be done. Recognizes that isn’t possible for everyone in an essential business, but for those that it is possible, it should be done.
  • If employees are working in person, they should practice social distancing
  • 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
  • Also good answers at: www.in.gov/criticalindustries
  • This is a line for businesses, not employees. Employees who believe their work is not essential should take that up first with their employer and if there is still a disagreement, then they can direct that to Indiana OSHA.
  • Employers should provide a letter to their employees to carry with them traveling to/from work.
  • Law enforcement does not anticipate pulling people over for random checks, but if a person is pulled over for a moving violation or other infraction, they may check the driver’s reason for being out.

Unemployment Insurance (UI)

  • No update today. Anyone with questions about eligibility and application can go to: www.unemployment.in.gov for tools to guide you through the process
  • There are webinars (details on the website) planned for this week and next for businesses and individuals to help educate Hoosiers. Register here.

Economic/Business Update

  • For businesses or organizations with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to donate can reach out to www.statehealth.in.gov or your County health department. If your operations can be re-purposed for supporting the Covid-19 response, you can reach out to www.iedc.in.gov to coordinate the work/donation.
  • In February there were a record number of people employed in Indiana, but “what a difference a month makes.” Now have record applications for unemployment, but the sound fundamentals of the Indiana economy will be a strength as we come through this crisis.
  • When asked how state plans to spend the $2B surplus, Holcomb noted that we are still reviewing the federal packages to see what they will offer and what gap will remain. He said “the reason we’ve been so prudent with our state dollars over the years is exactly for this day.” It’s a great thing that Indiana has these reserves in place and once we have better forecast on how state revenue will be impacted and what gaps are still left after federal assistance, we will use the surplus to make Indiana stronger.
  • IN Economic Development Corp. (IEDC) leader Schellinger noted that we still have new job commitments and businesses interested in moving to Indiana.
  • There are questions about businesses and their insurance coverage for business interruption. The federal assistance bills are clarifying some of these rules, but those who are having an issue with their insurance coverage, should reach out to the Indiana Department of Insurance at www.in.gov/idoi/
  • Lt. Governor Crouch noted that communities can use CDBG funds to help respond with opportunities from investing in broadband to support telework/telemedicine/e-learning to setting up economic assistance for small businesses.
  • Hoosiers are encouraged to virtually enjoy state assets such as museums, state parks, etc. Virtual tours are available at www.VisitIndiana.com

General Covid-19 Response Update

  • 115 new cases (477 total), 2 new deaths
  • Still early in this outbreak – last week at this time, we administered 243 tests. As of today = 3356
  • 14% of those being tested are positive – expect that since we’re still testing the highest risk patients
  • Received our 2nd allotment of supplies from the strategic national stockpile. This was 4-5 trucks of gloves, masks, face shields, etc. Those will be going out to providers/facilities in the next  24 hours based on need that we are seeing
  • This is not just an IN State Department of Health (ISDH) response – they are working actively with local health departments, healthcare facilities, federal partners, etc.
  • State still not sharing aggregate data on Covid-19 positive patients. ISDH believes that now that they are getting proper codes for patients, they will have that information about time in hospital, time in ICU, age, gender, etc. and they will share that. Anticipate that will be available in the next couple of days. It will still be longer before ISDH has accurate details on comorbidities, etc.
  • Using ISDH and Lilly to process tests for those in high-risk groups, those who need hospitalization, healthcare workers to ensure they get a quick turnaround on those results. For patients with symptoms, but who only need to go home to self-isolation (not be hospitalized), they are using the LabCorp and Quest tests that take longer.
  • State Dept. of Education (DOE) Supt. McCormick thanked families for their good work to educate children. She urged students to “work hard, stay positive, and be a good partner during this difficult time.” DOE work is prioritized as: essential resources to schools, academic support, engaging educators, supporting schools with physical needs.
  • Current activity is working with school districts to identify childcare still available in their communities with a goal off ensuring that healthcare providers, emergency workers, etc. have access to childcare so that they can continue going to work.