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Indiana Gov. Holcomb issues stay-at-home order amid COVID-19 outbreak

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INDIANA (WPTA21) - Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Monday he's ordering Hoosiers to stay home amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The next two weeks are critical if we are to slow the spread of COVID-19, and we must slow the spread. You must be part of the solution, not the problem,” said Gov. Holcomb.

He's asked Hoosiers to stay home except when they are at work or for permitted activities, such as taking care of others, obtaining necessary supplies, and for health and safety.

The order is in effect from March 25 to April 7.

“I’m setting the example by sending state government personnel home to work to the maximum extent possible and closing our facilities to public interaction beginning Tuesday, for at least the next two weeks."

Indiana follows surrounding states Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio who have also issued stay-at-home orders.

This order comes on the heels of the latest numbers from the Indiana Department of Health, which shows nearly 60 new cases of COVID-19.

Beginning Tuesday, all state government offices will be closed to in-person public activity until at least April 7. This includes the Government Center complex in Indianapolis and other offices throughout the state, including Bureau of Motor Vehicle branches. State employees will work remotely whenever possible and continue to provide core functions online and by phone. All public safety functions will continue.

In conjunction with the closures, Gov. Holcomb ordered an automatic extension of all state-issued licenses and will advise law enforcement to refrain from issuing citations for a driver’s license or registration that expires during this emergency.

The state, in conjunction with the city and all hospital systems in Marion County, has activated a comprehensive emergency operations center to maximize hospital capacity and provide joint coordination. The center is charged with tracking the inventory of all hospital beds, supplies and personnel as the number of COVID-19 patients grows.

“I am proud of our hospital systems that are participating in the initial phase of this process, Eskenazi Health, IU Health, Franciscan Health, Community Health Network, and Ascension,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Marion County is where we’ve seen the most community spread to date, but we will expand this model to other parts of the state."

On Monday, the state reported 58 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing to 259 the number of Hoosiers diagnosed through ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. 

The death toll is now at 7 Hoosiers.

A total of 1,960 tests have been reported to ISDH to date, including 466 in the last 24 hours.

Marion County had the most new cases, at 28.

Northeast Indiana also has cases in Wells, Noble, Grant and Adams counties.

On Sunday, Allen County announced its first death from COVID-19.

As of 9 a.m. Monday, the Allen County Health Department reported 6 total positive cases.

Because of a delay in private lab reporting to the state, the case count provided by the Indiana State Department of Health may not always immediately match Allen County’s case numbers.

As of 9:30 a.m. Monday, more than 350,000 people globally were confirmed to have the virus, and more than 100,000 people have recovered.

A total of 15,328 deaths were recorded worldwide.

In the United States, a total of 35,225 tested positive for COVID-19, and 471 have died.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel, or new, coronavirus that has not been previously identified. It is not the same as the type of coronavirus that causes the common cold.

Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

  • Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands; and
  • Rarely, fecal contamination.

Many people who acquire COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, can self-isolate and do not need to be tested. Older individuals and those with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness. The best way to protect yourself is to:

  • Stay home and follow social distancing guidelines regularly updated by the state of Indiana.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Anyone with a fever of 100 degrees F AND a cough should first call their healthcare provider to discuss their symptoms and determine the next course of action. 

The following local healthcare providers have set up specific screening for COVID-19:

  • Fort Wayne Medical Education patients should call 260-423-2675
  • IU Health patients should download the telemedicine application IU Health Virtual Visit and follow directions OR call 260-234-5400
  • Lutheran Health patients should call 260-435-5050
  • Parkview patients should call 1-877-PPG-TODAY or their specific provider; Parkview has also set up a self-screening website at Parkview.com/covid19screening
  • Neighborhood Health Clinic patients should call 260-458-2570

Coronavirus resources

  • Click here for the latest CDC novel coronavirus resources and links.
  • Track the COVID-19 globally using this map tracker here.
  • You can view the latest Indiana COVID-19 numbers here.
  • Track Ohio's coronavirus numbers here.
  • You can catch up on the latest ABC21 coronavirus coverage here.
  • Sign up here for the latest local, state and national news regarding COVID-19.
  • Click here to sign up for ABC21 News and Weather Alerts

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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