‘Our actions have to change’: Holcomb, officials continue to encourage social distancing

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and state officials including State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box gave an update to the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic Friday.

During the briefing, Governor Holcomb and state officials continued to stress the need for the public to continue social distancing and to wear masks. 

Dr. Box said she wanted to correct some misinformation that she had been seeing about COVID-19, specifically that it is only harmful to older people. Box said anyone can get COVID-19, not just the elderly. “If you think this risk is over, you are incorrect. No matter your age, wear a mask and continue social distancing.”

Holcomb said, “Our actions have to change. But, we’re all in this together. Yes, it disproportionately affects the elderly, but it’s the youth that are spreaders.”

Earlier on Friday, The Indiana State Department of Health reported 521 new positive coronavirus cases since Thursday at noon, bringing the state’s total to 33,558. ISDH also announced an additional 40 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, bringing Indiana’s total to 1,946.

Dr. Box was asked to provide some context to the almost 2,000 coronavirus deaths in Indiana. She says Indiana is using data to look at this very carefully. Box says, “Deaths and cases are on the decline.”

Holcomb also announced that the Wednesday and Friday schedule that began this week for the state’s COVID-19 briefings will continue moving forward, pending developments.

Jim Schellinger, Secretary Commerce Economic Development, reported that more than 70,000 PPP loans were received by Hoosiers and that Hoosier small businesses should contact banks and the state to ask for PPP aid.

Schellinger added that small businesses that can not access PPP loans are eligible for Small Business Restart Grants, and more information is available at BackOnTrack.In.Gov.

Holcomb was also asked about protecting Hoosiers during times of protest. He said he has spoken with other governors, and there is no easy answer.

Holcomb invoked Robert Kennedy’s speech when Martin Luther King was killed and paraphrased, “Injuring the innocent in a response to an injustice is counterproductive.”

Holcomb said he supports people’s right to protest, but asks for them to be peaceful. “I would ask folks to take a breath and be part of the solution. We are experiencing unprecedented times in Indiana. On the fringes, there will be some bad actors.”

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