Governor Holcomb opened today paying tribute to former Governor Joe Kernan who died earlier today at the age of 74. Kernan was a Vietnam War vet, 4-term Mayor of South Bend, Lt Governor, and Governor. Kernan is remembered as someone who loved Indiana and always said yes to a challenging cause. I encourage anyone interested in understanding what a legacy of lifetime honorable public service looks like, please take a moment to read these memorial statements:
- From Governor Holcomb
- From Vice President Pence
- From former Governor Mitch Daniels
- And finally, the Ten Commandments he gave to each new staffer, which starts with “Do the right thing – Always.”
In another interesting moment, the Governor called into memory the 1980’s Thomas Dolby song, “She Blinded Me with Science,” and noted that it’s just plain science that masks are one tool in the box to try to slow the spread and prevent Coronavirus.
The moratorium on evictions from rental properties and the prohibition on filing foreclosures is extended through August 14th and aligns with the moratorium on utility shut-offs. Those who need assistance with rent payments should visit www.indianahousingnow.org. Homeowners who have fallen behind on mortgage payments can find help at www.877gethope.org. And the Energy Assistance Program for renters and homeowners who have lost income can apply for help (Deadline is THIS Friday, July 31) at www.eap.ihcda.in.gov or by calling 2-1-1.
The state dashboard will be updated later this week with new pieces of data and more county-level information. This is designed to help community and school leaders have up-to-date, local information to assist decision-making about school programming and other community events. New data will include a county-level map of the 7-day positivity rate to help see where communities may be surging. Statewide, the 7-day Average Positivity Rate is 6.8% compared to a low of 4.5% on June 18th. The Long Term Cara (LTC) data on the dashboard will also be updated soon after receiving updated data from all LTC facilities and cross-checking it with existing lab and death databases.
The briefing did include a bit of “good” news from the report on Unemployment Insurance (UI). There were 17,938 initial claims for UI in the week reported out last Thursday – the first time it was below 20,000 since mid-March. Indiana’s UI rate for June was 11.2% – down from 12.3% in May and 16.9% in April (and up from 3.2% in March). Indiana’s Labor Force Participation rate now stands at 64.3% compared to 61.5% nationwide. Individuals and employers looking to get training or provide training should go to www.YourNextStepIN.org to identify options.
New Information and Updates:
- Since last Wednesday’s report, the state has reported 5,626 new positive cases (58,673 total; ~60% of the previous week) and 67 new deaths (2,666 total; 7 fewer than the previous week). There were 137,649 new tests administered (724,238 total [2X as many as the previous week] with an overall 8.9% positive rate since the beginning of testing) according to the ISDH dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov as of midnight last night. There are an additional 199 probable Covid-19 deaths (X-Ray, CT, symptoms & exam consistent w/Covid-19, but no positive test received).
- There are 200+ testing sites open across the state – each operator has their own requirements about whether an individual must be symptomatic or have underlying conditions and the locations move based on needs and building requirements. The state operated sites are free and open to anyone who wants it regardless of symptoms or risk; register in advance for those by calling 888-634-1123 or at https://lhi.care/covidtesting. If there are no spots available via advance registration, walk ins are available.
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 unemployment insurance, childcare, healthcare, food assistance, career coaching, etc.
- The Unemployment Insurance website has up-to-date information including a regularly updated FAQ; dates for webinars posted here and a listing of thousands of available jobs 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.
- Small businesses and non-profits can order PPE from the state’s PPE Directory. Anyone able to make or donate PPE can contact: PPEDirectory@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.
- Check the Wi-Fi Hotspot Map if you need internet access for work or school.
- 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 is available to the public.