Governor Holcomb opened today’s briefing reminding us that this would be Carb Day – part of the annual biggest sports event in the world, the Indy 500. He also talked about the Memorial Day holiday and the need to remember those who have given “their last full measure of devotion” (President Abe Lincoln) to their Country. As we enter the long weekend, Holcomb encouraged Hoosiers to “please go outside and take in fresh air, but do it responsibly and safely. Wear masks if your around others and keep social distancing.”
A reminder that the Governor issued Executive Order 20-28 yesterday that shares guidelines and rules for the state moving into Stage 3 earlier today. Those responsible for operating businesses and ensuring safety of employees and/or customers should review the Order carefully and also the updated Back On Track plans.
Steve Cox, the Executive Director of Homeland Security, spoke to reiterate safety information and encouraged Hoosiers to not be complacent – the hard part starts now. His department is responsible for code enforcement (occupancy levels, for example) along with local Fire Marshalls and local building officials. They have received 68 complaints regarding occupancy limits – only 4 of those required additional guidance and the others were considered unfounded. If you have questions about your occupancy levels, reach out to local officials and/or contact CodeQuestions@DHS.in.gov.
The weekly Unemployment Insurance (UI) update noted that there were 30,311 new applications for the week ending May 16th down slightly from 30,691 last week. Indiana’s April Unemployment rate was 16.9% compared to 3.2% in March – this is the highest rate we’ve seen since 1982 (12.6%). The State has paid $1.7B in payments since March, including 1,315,733 individual payments to claimants in the month of May. When asked about what we see ahead. Commissioner Payne noted that many manufacturers are starting to come back online and the department is seeing some reduction in claims paid each week (indicating some who started receiving payments several weeks ago have returned to work).
Finally, earlier today Governor Holcomb requested all state agencies review their budgets for the upcoming fiscal year to identify 15% in spending cuts. This does not apply to K-12 and Higher Education, but this review will cover about 40% of the total state budget. Agencies are asked not to consider cuts to vital services, such as those related to Covid-19.
New Information and Updates:
- There were 493 new positive cases (30,409 total), 27 new deaths (1,791 total), and 5,605 new tests administered (208,561 total) reported on the state’s dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov as of midnight last night. There are an additional 150 probable Covid-19 deaths (X-Ray, CT, symptoms and exam consistent w/Covid-19, but no positive test received).
- Weekly hospitalization and recovery updates from the Regenstrief Institute study. Looking at 29,363 distinct Hoosier patients. Of those, 7,839 visited an ER (27%), 5,290 were hospitalized (18%), and 1,166 were admitted to an ICU (4%). Of the 5,290 hospitalized, 3,791 have been discharged (72%), 10.5% are still likely hospitalized, and we know that 17.5% have died.
- There are more than 200 Covid-19 testing sites across the state. Nearly anyone who wants a test can get one regardless of symptoms, though testing is encouraged for anyone with symptoms and those without symptoms who are in the high risk categories or are an essential worker who needs to return to work. Use the map to find a site near you; you can register for one of the ISDH/Optum operated sites at https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 888-634-1123.
- The state has received commitments of 18M pieces of PPE and plans to send more than 90,000 bundles from the PPE Marketplace by June 24th.
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.
- Supplemental PPE for small businesses and non-profits is available from the state’s PPE Marketplace.
- 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.