State of emergency prolonged after pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, state and local government responses are evolving. In a press conference on March 19, Governor Eric Holcomb announced an extension of the state of emergency for another 30 days, a move that will affect every facet of Hoosier’s life. Originally scheduled for April 5th, the state of health will now continue into May.
“These [pandemic] shook the worlds of Hoosiers, ”said Holcomb. “… These are not actions we wanted to take. There are actions that we had to take. “
Indiana schools will be closed until at least May 1st. Holcomb and state superintendent of public education Jennifer McCormick said that date may be extended to the end of the school year if the risks of COVID-19 persist.
While the students were at home, McCormick asked them to continue e-learning. McCormick also assured the roughly 75,000 high school graduates in the state that the goal is to make sure they graduate on time.
If students in K-12 can return to class that year, all state-mandated assessments, including Common Core and ISTEP, will be canceled. McCormick said she is seeking exemptions from the U.S. Department of Education.
“We want to make sure that time spent in the classroom is focused on teaching,” said Holcomb.
While the fact that kids are coming home from school can add an extra burden to working parents, Holcomb put it out several executive orders aims to protect Hoosier families from losing their homes and utilities.
Holcomb issued an executive order earlier this month temporarily banning evictions and foreclosures. An extension has been made to prohibit gas, electricity, broadband, water and sewer service providers from ceasing to serve customers during this pandemic.
The state will interpret the unemployment laws to include as many needy hoosiers as possible. According to Holcomb, 22,583 Indiana residents have registered unemployment as of March 16. To put this in perspective, on March 15 this year, Indiana had an unemployment rate of 3.1%, five points less than the national average.
There are currently 56 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Indiana. As the number of tests performed increases, Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box also saw an increase in the number of confirmed cases.
“If we increase the number of tests analyzed daily,” Box said in a press release, “no one should be surprised that the number of positive cases will increase.” This will help us know where the community is spreading in Indiana and help us mobilize resources in the affected areas. “
Holcomb said the state’s COVID-19 task force will continue to assess Hoosiers’ needs and take further steps if necessary.
Visit https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/ to stay up to date on the latest news regarding COVID-19 in Indiana. For a full summary of the changes from the latest management impact, please visit https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm
Call Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.