Gov. Holcomb to sign 2 executive orders on COVID-19 response

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Governor Eric Holcomb provided the latest information about Indiana’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic Tuesday as the state continues to see cases spread across Indiana’s counties.

Among the updates, Governor Holcomb announced two new executive orders he would be signing.

The first executive order deals with the carryout-only order. The order would extend the policy through April 6.

The second executive order waives the statute to let e-notary rules take effect.

On Tuesday, state health officials say an additional 14 people died in Indiana from coronavirus-related illnesses. This brings the state’s total to 49.

Of the new COVID-19 deaths, five involved Indianapolis residents and four were from Lake County. Elkhart, Decatur, Hancock, Ripley and Warren Counties also reported a death.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases grew by 347 to 2,159. The virus has now been reported in 81 of Indiana’s 92 counties. Marion County continues to have the most new reported cases. The county now has 964 cases.

Dr. Kristina Box, State Health Commissioner for Indiana, says the numbers do not necessarily show the amount of new cases per day. IT is based on when the data is reported to them.

Dr. Box says the jump in deaths from March 14-March 21 is when tests were done through the state lab. She says it can take up to two weeks to get results, and that some patients may have died before their test result was available.

While the Indiana State Department of Health has been providing daily updates on the number of reported cases and deaths, Dr. Box says EMS needs more timely data to make real-time decisions.

The department will soon begin providing twice-daily updates to its coronavirus page, giving the latest information at people’s fingertips.

Another update provided in the briefing is that the Army Corps of Engineers has been called in for facility assessment and other planning help. This will help the state prepare to set up field hospitals in key areas of the state if it becomes necessary to address medical facility shortages.

The request was made through the state emergency operations center and FEMA.

“Our hope is that we never need this, but we must prepare as if we will.”

Dr. Box, Indiana State Health Commissioner

Governor Holcomb ended the main part of the address by thanking people for jumping in to help out with the COVID-19 response. He highlighted a COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund that will help those on the front lines.

Holcomb also mentioned sewing clubs from across the state that are producing masks for hospitals and other facilities in the state. An employer in Lebanon making a handheld disinfecting wand to send to food manufacturers and health care facilities. Holcomb said they are all examples of Hoosier hospitality at its finest.

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