On Monday, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced new steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state, putting in place a “Stay-At-Home” order.
Gov. Eric Holcomb is ordering all Hoosiers to stay at home for the next two weeks unless they’re conducting “essential business.”
That order, issued Monday, comes ahead of what Holcomb calls a “critical” period to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
“So, stay home," Holcomb says. "Get groceries only when you need them and only buy what you need.”
Hoosiers are able to leave for a number of things: Things that are essential to the health and safety of you or members of your family or household.
- Getting medical supplies or medication
- Visiting a health care professional
- Going to the grocery store
- Delivering food, groceries or cleaning products to members of your family
- Caring for a family member or pet in another household.
- Going outside for exercise (while maintaining social distancing)
Businesses staying open include but are not limited to grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, police stations, fire stations, hospitals, doctor’s offices, health care facilities, garbage pickup, public transit, and public service hotlines such as SNAP and HIP 2.0.
Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers are considered essential businesses. Construction, hardware stories, auto repair, and hotels also fall under this category. A full list is in the governor’s executive order.
Impact On Businesses, Employees
Even with the number of businesses and organizations designed as “essential” there are still tens of thousands of Hoosiers who will be out of work come Wednesday.
The Department of Workforce Development is telling all workers finding themselves without a job to apply for unemployment insurance online.
Compared to other states, one economist says the order is less extreme and could help the economy take less of a hit.
Indiana University Kelley School of Business economist Kyle Anderson says letting some businesses stay open could help lessen the economic impact on the state.
“By keeping businesses open, you know, that might help a little bit,” says Anderson. “But also I think it makes sense because we haven’t seen as severe of an outbreak as other states have.”
He says some of the “non-essential” businesses may have already started seeing fewer customers the last few weeks.
Hair salon, spa, nail salon, tattoo parlor and barber shops are all considered “non-essential.”
Krist Karloff owns Evil Genius Tattoo Club, located on Main Street in downtown Lafayette, for almost five years.
He says he has plans to take care of his staff of six tattoo artists and five front desk staff, including recent purchases of food and household goods to offset some of their living expenses.
“We’ve been talking about this for weeks,” Karloff says. “And, you know, I kind of expect that this is going to be a problem that we’re going to have for six weeks. I don’t foresee us being open the entire month of April. Honestly. I can’t see it, with what’s going on currently.”
First Responders In Muncie, South Bend Quarantined
In Delaware County, Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour says all eight responders are from the Muncie Fire Department – which also runs EMS service throughout the city – and Muncie Police Department.
The eight are quarantined at Fire Station #4. Ridenour was clear on maintaining the quarantine.
He says the responders have gone through hospital check-ups and are waiting for tests to come back. He says no one is showing any symptoms of illness.
Five South Bend firefighters are also in self-quarantine after interacting with a patient last week who has since tested positive for COVID-19. The firefighters were out on a call on March 14 that was not related to the illness. The person they interacted with has now tested positive for the disease caused by the new coronavirus. All five firefighters are in quarantine waiting for test results.
Spring Commencement Postponed At Ball State
Ball State University has canceled its scheduled May commencement ceremonies as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an email, President Geoffrey Mearns says it is following “increasingly aggressive guidelines” from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and local emergency plans.
This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.