‘We have to remain vigilant’: Holcomb, state officials give latest update on COVID-19 response

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb along with Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box, and Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Fred Payne provided Hoosiers with another update on how the state is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday afternoon.

Dr. Box began the briefing with the daily report of the state’s daily coronavirus numbers including the total of 1,295 deaths and 119 probable deaths.

Box said Hoosiers need to maintain their behavior changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic that have kept numbers down. When it comes to reopening the state, Box said, “We have to remain vigilant. This is the new normal. We can’t forget about social distancing.”

She continued by discussing mask usage when Hooisers are out in public, “If you wear a mask, you are protecting others. If you are outside and you are social distancing, you probably don’t need to wear a mask. But if you’re inside and there are other people present, then it’s really important to keep your mask on.”

Dr. Box reiterated a point made by Dr. Lindsay Weaver in another press conference by reminding residents, “Your cell phone is probably one of the dirtiest things you carry with you. Carry alcohol swabs and wipe it down.”

Other important pointers included a message about gloves. “Gloves are not bad, but they give people a false sense of security or place people at a higher risk if used wrong,” she said. “Realistically, it’s better to just wash your hands. Don’t hug your elderly mom or grandma on Mother’s Day. We need to avoid hugs and kisses for a while.”

Near the end of the video conference, Dr. Box said health officials are expecting the number of cases to go up as the state’s economy reopens. But added that we are protecting our most vulnerable populations, with the ultimate goal of seeing the percentage of positives start to go down.”

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch offered a message of hope while discussing the state’s housing agency, which has a resource guide online at 877gethope.org

“We are strong. We are resilient. And we are in this together,” Crouch said.

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