First, a website address correction to my Friday report. If you want to vote absentee by mail for the Primary Election (scheduled for Tuesday, June 2nd), you must request your ballot by this Thursday, May 21st. The easiest way to do so is online at www.indianavoters.in.gov. Once at the site, choose “vote by mail or traveling board” and complete the online application. The completed ballot must then be received by your local County Clerk by noon on Tuesday, June 2nd.
Dr. Box, Director of the IN State Department of Health (ISDH) reported that today is the first day that ISDH is doing contact tracing for the entire state. They have hired and trained 500 employees and are already tracking 2250 new cases and have made more than 6000 calls. If you receive a call, text, or Email from the ISDH, please respond ASAP. Tracing individual cases along with taking personal precautions (limit interactions, wear masks, wash/sanitize hands, etc.) make Indiana a safer place, will reduce the spread, and will lead to continued success in reopening facilities and amenities across the state. She reminded Hoosiers that you can easily spread the virus when you don’t have symptoms, and noted that, “my mask protects you and your mask protects me.”
Indiana unfortunately also now has our first case of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). Doctors have been advised to report suspected cases to local/state health departments. Parents are asked to monitor high fever in their children and keep in touch with the pediatrician. She reminded listeners that there are MANY other children who have been positive for Covid-19 who have not experienced these severe symptoms, but for those children who do develop this, it is very serious and must be treated.
The Director of the Dept. of Children’s Services (DCS), Terry Stigdon, shared an update on her department’s work to protect children. DCS’s 5000 employees (including 2545 family case managers) currently oversee 13,000 children in foster care and investigate thousands of other cases of abuse and neglect. Calls to their hotline in March & April were slightly lower than the same time last year and sadly they don’t believe it’s because there is less abuse. They did conduct 6000 in-person visits last month based to investigate allegations of abuse/neglect. If you believe that a child is being abused or neglected, please call 1-800-800-5556.
In a 5-0 decision released after today’s briefing, the IN Supreme Court denied Governor Holcomb’s request to issue an advisory opinion on whether he could appoint a replacement for Attorney General Curtis Hill during Hill’s 30-day law license suspension. Barring any further action, Hill’s Chief Deputy, Aaron Negangard will run the Attorney General’s office for the next 30 days and Hill will return to his job after the suspension ends June 17th.
New Information and Updates:
- There were 492 new positive cases (28,225 total), 14 new deaths (1,621 total), and 6,696 new tests administered (183,912 total) reported on the state’s dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov as of midnight last night. There are an additional 144 probable Covid-19 deaths (X-Ray, CT, symptoms & exam consistent w/Covid-19, but no positive test received).
- Each Monday the state’s website is updated with new numbers for Long-Term Care (LTC) Facilities. Today’s update shows that 732 (45%) of the state’s deaths have come from LTC Facilities. We have seen significant evidence of this locally with all but a handful of deaths in SW Indiana coming from LTC Facilities.
- The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) had added 2000 additional appointments each day at branches to help meet demand for services. Also, a reminder that you can schedule at ANY BMV, not just the one closest to you or in your county. Learn more or make an appointment at: www.in.gov/bmv.
- Test availability continues to grow across the state. You can get a test if you:
- Are symptomatic
- Live with or had close contact with someone with Covid-19 (even if asymptomatic)
- Asymptomatic, but you are an essential worker or in a high-risk group (demographically or due to a pre-existing health condition)
- Use this map of all 120+ testing sites to find a location near you or you can call 888-634-1123 or go online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting to register for one of the 40+ ISDH/Optum operated sites.
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.
- Those needing assistance with Unemployment Insurance are strongly encouraged to check the Unemployment Insurance website where there is up-to-date information including a regularly updated FAQ before calling. You can find webinars, Facebook live events, etc. (for employers and individuals) posted here and available jobs can always be found at www.indianacareerconnect.com with frequently planned virtual job fairs.
- Small businesses (under 150 employees) can get a supplemental supply of PPE from the state’s PPE Marketplace – go to the site to learn whether your business is eligible, what is available, and place an order.
- Review hospitalization rates and other Covid-19 tracking data at: www.regenstrief.org/covid-dashboard
- Businesses able to make or donate PPE, services, or other products, contact: COVIDResponse@iedc.in.gov.
- Those needing assistance addressing mental health concerns should visit: www.BeWellIndiana.org.
- If your home is not safe, reach out ASAP to 1-800-799-SAFE.
- Those needing mortgage or rent assistance should call 1-877-GET-HOPE or go to: www.877GetHope.org.
- Check the Wi-Fi Hotspot Map if you need internet access for work or school.
- Up-to-date regional information is available at the Vanderburgh County Health Department Coronavirus site. This is information for all of Southwest Indiana.
- The American Red Cross still needs blood donors. Individuals and Organizations can consider “challenges” to try to increase the number of donors – donation/collection in communities is still occurring and is safe.
- Guidelines for how Long Term Care (LTC) Facilities address the collection and communication of Covid-19 information. Those working at or those with family members at an LTC Facility should review the guidelines.
- 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.