INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and other state officials provided another update Friday on the state’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Holcomb opened the press conference with words about fallen IMPD officer Breann Leath who was killed in the line of duty on Thursday.
“Officer Leath, before working alongside her brothers and sisters at the IMPD here in Indianapolis, also worked for the state of Indiana Department of Corrections for two years,” said Holcomb.
“She was someone who was a role model she was someone who folks either senior or junior looked up to and we will miss her. We are keeping her family and her friends in our hearts. Her family also serves the state of Indiana. This is the best among us.”
The governor said the state is responding in real time in 92 counties to a pandemic with the goal of being safe, not sorry. He said Indiana’s goal, whether it’s on the health front or the safety front or on the economic front, is to be one of the first in this storm and to be one of the first out, and a key part of that is going to be standing up and the re-entry of our workforce.
Holcomb thanked teachers, students, support staff, and faculty of our schools. He said schools are the center of a community, and our schools are living up to that even during COVID-19.
Dr. Kristina Box, Indiana State Health Commissioner, addressed the incoming data of how the coronavirus pandemic is effecting race and ethnicity demographics. She stipulated that data is subject to change, and it can not be reported quickly while ensuring that it’s 100% accurate and complete.
Box said 18.5% of Indiana cases have been among the African American population, compared with nearly 50% among our white population. She added that about 3% of our cases were among our Hispanic population. She added that unfortunately, the ethnicity part of this is missing 57% of the data.
“When we look at deaths we found that a little over 19.2% occurred among our African American population, while 69% are among white Hoosiers, and a little under 2% among Hispanic residents. These disparities among our African American population mirror what we see with other health metrics that we know to be significant risk factors for death with the COVID-19 disease, and that is diabetes and heart disease.”
Box finished with words of encouragement for Hoosiers by saying, “It’s hard when we had this many people who are dying to be real positive. But I know that we are going to do everything and we are going to do everything we can dampen the number of lives that we lose in the state of Indiana. I know we’ve got a great Hoosier population that is doing a lot to take care of each other.”
Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, addressed mental health by saying the supports that we put in place are not only for existing individuals with mental health issues, but also for the anxieties and concerns that people have in the days and weeks that follow what we’re doing now.
“Please reach out if you have needs both mental health or physical danger, emotional danger and others to make sure that we can reach you at your greatest time of need. We all need to survive this together,” said Sullivan.
Friday morning, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) reported 55 new deaths from coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to 300 deaths.
Officials say there are now 6,907 positive cases in the state and more than 35,000 have been tested statewide.
Thursday afternoon. Gov. Holcomb issued guidance for places of worship in an effort as we approach the Easter weekend.
“The purpose of this guidance is not to restrict religious liberty, but to save lives during these extraordinary times. I look forward to the day where we can once again worship side-by-side without the threat of spreading coronavirus,” he added.