Today Governor Holcomb announced that instead of entering Stage 5 of the Back on Track plan, Indiana will temporarily pause the capacity limits currently in place for restaurants, bars, entertainment and event venues, bowling alleys, etc. It is anticipated we will stay in this “Stage 4.5” until July 18th. The current stage does give the green light to mostly outdoor activities (parades, fireworks shows, etc.) as long as they’ve made provisions to meet requirements for local and state regulations.
In announcing the “pause” on further reopening, Holcomb noted that “nationwide positive cases are at a peak level, which underscores the fact that this virus is ‘on the prowl’ and in some places is gaining momentum. We see volatility around the country, around our own borders, and even in some Indiana communities…we need to press pause.”
The decision was based on the data we’re seeing in Indiana, including an uptick in hospitalization – at 668 in the hospital today vs. a low of 595 on June 25th. Contact tracing continues to improve, but does rely on Hoosiers doing their part to respond if/when the State contacts you to follow-up on a positive test result. So far 75% of those having a positive test are successfully reached, and of those, 85% have completed the first interview with 48 hours. An average of 345 citizens are providing info to contact tracers each day.
Holcomb also announced a #MaskUpHoosiers campaign with videos and options for individuals to share “why you mask up.” Full details are here if you or your organization would like to participate. In introducing the videos, Holcomb reminded listeners, “we know masking works. It may be inconvenient, but it’s important and it works. It’s a tool we know that can limit the spread. It can save lives. It can save hospital capacity to serve those in need.” He urged Hoosiers to “think not just about your own life, but about those who you love and don’t want to lose.” When asked why he wasn’t issuing a mandate, Holcomb and Dr. Box expressed support for the Hoosier culture of always looking out for others and concerns about people becoming more opposed to the idea when it is mandated vs. when it is “strongly recommended.” The state will “lead by example” by requiring masks for anyone on the statehouse and state office grounds and encourage businesses and local governments to enforce any requirements that they choose to based on local and employee/individual needs.
Also of note this week, Holcomb signed Executive Order 20-33, which extends the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, utility shutoffs, and allows the continued temporary licensure of some health care professionals. All Executive Orders issued are available here.
New Information and Updates:
- Stay tuned to the Back on Track website for details on current operating conditions during this Stage 4.5 in place until at least July 18th.
- Since last Wednesday’s report, the state has reported 2,812 new positive cases (45,952 total), 70 new deaths (2,456 total), and 57,883 new tests administered (489,716 total – an overall 9.4% positive rate) on the ISDH dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov as of midnight last night. There are an additional 194 probable Covid-19 deaths (X-Ray, CT, symptoms & exam consistent w/Covid-19, but no positive test received). Detailed data (in even county and regional levels) about hospitalization is available at: www.regenstrief.org/covid-dashboard
- There will be an ISDH COVID-19 testing site in downtown Evansville next Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The test is free and open to anyone who wants it regardless of symptoms or risk. You must register in advance at https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 888-634-1123. There are other testing sites open across the region (though they may have different qualification requirements) – you can see a map of sites and any requirements at the state website.
- Inside visitation to Long Term Care Facilities (LTCF’s) will be phased in beginning mid-July. In the meantime, they will begin reporting site-specific information (cases and deaths) for LTCF’s next week. The data will be shared on the state’s coronavirus website.
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 work, wanting a career coach, finding ways to increase skills or even resources regarding unemployment insurance, childcare, healthcare, and food assistance.
- The Unemployment Insurance website has up-to-date information including a regularly updated FAQ; dates for webinars, Facebook live events, etc. (for employers and individuals) posted here and a listing of thousands of available jobs can always be found 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.
- Supplemental PPE for small businesses and non-profits is available from the state’s PPE Marketplace. Anyone able to make or donate PPE, services, or other products can contact: COVIDResponse@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 mortgage or rent assistance should call 1-877-GET-HOPE or go to: www.877GetHope.org. Applications for the Covid-19 Rental Assistance Program open on July 13th at www.indianahousingnow.org. The program will provide up to $500 per month for up to 4 months to renters to improve housing stability & prevent evictions.
- Check the Wi-Fi Hotspot Map if you need internet access for work or school.
- If you have questions about tax deadlines for yourself or your business, check www.in.gov/dor.
- 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 are available to the public.