INDIANAPOLIS — Monday morning, Gov. Eric Holcomb took to the podium once more to address the citizens of the state regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. He thanked all those who were watching from home for being part of the solution, not the problem. “But because both the infection rate and the death rate continue to climb, Indiana, we need to do more! Our neighbors and our economy need to see that we’re taking steps that will help flatten curve to ensure our healthcare system is able to treat the most vulnerable,” he said.
Beginning Tuesday, March 24, state government personnel will be working from home. The governor directed the BMV to extend all license renewals for 60 days, and law enforcement are asked not to cite drivers for expired plates or driver’s licenses.
He said weeks later, after the beginning of this virus and people were asked to stay home, people are not following the guidelines. He said one infected person infects two, the those two infect two more and so on.
“Today, I signed an Executive Order that instructs the ATC to suspend any and all food and beverage licenses for those who violate the order.
“Additionally, I’ve signed another Executive Order that calls on all Hoosiers to hunker down, stay at home, unless you’re going out on an essential errand, or essential work or essential business and operations.”
Holcomb issued the order for two weeks, from March 24 through April 7 to slow the spread of the virus and to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed with patients. He asked residents of Indiana to get groceries only when needed and to buy only what is needed.
“I’m telling you, the next two weeks are critical – that’s March 24 through April 7 – if we’re going to slow the spread, and we must slow the spread,” he said.
As of Monday, the number of people tested positive for the virus reached 259, and seven have died.
The governor issued four executive orders. They are:
EO 20-08. Stay at Home. Provides for essential and non-essential business and operations, infrastructure, government services, travel, and activities outside of one’s home.
EO 20-09. Continuity of State Operations. Provides for the continuing operation of state government from 5 p.m. today through 8 a.m. April 7 with restricted access to government buildings and services.
EO 20-10. Enforcement Directive Regarding Prohibition of In-Person Dining.
• Directs that state and local boards of health and the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) take all available administrative and enforcement actions against establishments that continue to offer in-house dining services, in violation of the governor’s executive order of March 16.
• Health departments will deliver letters ordering restaurants that continue to provide in-person dining to cease such operations. If they do not comply, fines will be levied.
• For restaurants with alcohol permits that continue to offer in-person dining, the ATC will issue an order in writing for the establishment to cease such operations. If the activity continues, the ATC will suspend the entity’s liquor license and will consider the non-compliance at the time of permit renewal.
EO 20-11. Provisions for carryout consumption of alcohol.
Relaxes the sale of carryout alcoholic beverages for dining establishments. This includes establishments that allow for on-premises consumption only and those that are permitted carryout permits dependent on a percentage of on-premises sales.
Holcomb thanked the press for putting out critically important information and all the companies that switched from their normal production and products to build respirators, make hand sanitizer and donating to hospitals and state health services. He also thanked the schools and churches for following his directives and private companies that closed their facilities, including Simon Malls, which closed its malls as well.
“To all the gritty restaurant owners, who are trying to survive by adapting overnight to a new ‘to-go only’ business model,” he said thank you.
“To everyone who’s been playing by the rules, to all those companies contributing to our war effort to slow the spread, we thank you,” he said.
Ending his speech, Holcomb said, “Make no mistake, this disease is killing people. Time is of the essence. And the best thing we can do for each other, for this generation, and for our economy, is to get a handle on the virus by slowing the spread. That’s what we have power over. That’s the power of one, and what you can do. That’s your power. And that’s the power, tht together, we’ll remain Indiana strong!”
The link to the Stay-At-Home Order FAQ is https://www.in.gov/gov/3232.htm
More information may be found at the ISDH website at in.gov/coronavirus/ and the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.