The Governor opened today with an announcement that Indiana will be moving to Stage 5 effective this coming Saturday morning, which lifts most business restrictions and gathering limits. Face coverings will still be required as will 6-foot social distancing, so some restaurants and venues may not be able to operate at full capacity while they continue to meet 6-foot distance guidelines. The Executive Order outlining the details will come out by end of business tomorrow (Thursday) and the Stage 5 website will also be updated at that time. Again, the new guidelines take effect Saturday morning – you may want to visit the Back on Track website on Friday to find the updated details.
Governor Holcomb and Dr. Box noted that they understand people are tired of the precautions, but masks, social distancing, hand washing, and all of the behavior changes are the things that have allowed us to reopen most businesses and 90+% of schools to have in-person classes. As we move into Stage 5, they encouraged us to remember that this is not a return to life as we knew it in January and February. There is still a very active virus that will make some people very ill and endanger the lives of others.
Reminder that the last date to complete the 2020 Census is September 30th. Please complete your census and check with your family, friends, and colleagues to ensure they have done the same. You can complete the census at www.2020census.gov.
Changes were announced to the IEDC Small Business Restart Program that will allow businesses that have received other governmental support (such as a PPP loan) to also take advantage of the Restart Program. Previously any other governmental assistance prohibited a business from participating. A thorough list of small business resources can be found here.
There are 255 testing sites across the state and this will continue to creep up a bit as the remaining planned local health department sites come online by the end of the month.
New Information and Updates:
- Since last Wednesday’s report, the state has reported 5,528 new positive cases (113,337 total), 58 new deaths (3,308 total), 60,927 new individuals tested (1,322,819 total), and 146,401 new tests administered (1,916,433 total) as some individuals get tested more than once. The state added several new labs into the report this week, creating a large jump in the tests administered. All of this information is on the ISDH dashboard at www.coronavirus.in.gov. There are an additional 225 probable Covid-19 deaths (X-Ray, CT, symptoms & exam consistent w/Covid-19, but no positive test received).
- The state now shares 2 different positivity rates; both trail by 7 days to allow for a full reporting of tests that lag coming in. As of September 16th, the positivity rate for unique individuals is 8.6% since the beginning of testing and is 6.6% for the 7 day rate ending 9/16. The positivity rate for ALL tests administered (comparative measure to most other states) is 6.0% from the beginning of testing and 3.9% for the 7-day rate ending on 9/16.
- Under the new color-coded county metrics that combine new cases per 100,000 people over the last week and the 7-day positivity rates through 9/20, SW IN counties are: all yellow (good, not best) except for Posey County, which is blue (better than yellow), and Gibson County, which is orange (worse than yellow) due to an outbreak at a congregant living facility. You can find these metrics and how they are calculated by choosing the “County Metrics” tab above the map of Indiana on the state dashboard.
- The state also publishes county-level 7-day positivity rates for all tests given (not unique individuals). SW Indiana rates as of 9/16 are: Gibson 7.1%, Posey 2.9%, Vanderburgh 3.3%, Warrick 5.1%. You can find the county-level information by choosing the “Positivity” tab above the map of Indiana on the state dashboard.
Resources & Reminders:
- If you need to be tested for COVID-19, you can see a map of more than 200 testing sites and see the details for those near you.
- 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 assistance paying rent should go to: www.IndianaHousingNow.org. Those falling behind on mortgage payments should 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.