UPDATE with FAQ: Indiana governor orders residents to stay home due to virus

Monday, March 23, 2020 ~ Updated 3:02 PM
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) ó Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Monday ordered residents to remain home for two weeks starting Wednesday, except for workers in essential industries or to go outside for groceries and medicine, to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Holcomb's order, which mirrors orders in adjacent states, begins at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday and ends on April 6 at 11:59 p.m. but he said it could be extended if needed. It directs the state's 6.8 million residents to stay at 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."

Holcomb said that the next two weeks "are critical if we are to slow the spread of COVID-19" the disease caused by the coronavirus.

"Get groceries only when you need them and only buy what you need. I'm telling you the next two weeks are critical ... if we're going to slow the spread," the governor said in a televised address from his Statehouse office.

The state has reported seven deaths and 259 virus infections. The state's most recent death from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, was an adult over the age of 60 in northeastern Indiana's. Allen County's health department announced his death Sunday, the Indiana State Department of Health said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild cases recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe ones can take three to six weeks to get better.

The governors of adjacent Illinois, Ohio and Michigan, as well other states, have ordered residents to remain in their homes, except for to perform essential tasks, to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

On Friday, he delayed Indiana's May 5 primary election until June 2, but said he would need to see more signs that the virus was spreading statewide before taking action to order residents to stay home.

The governor has ordered all schools to remain closed until at least May 1, banned public gatherings of more than 50 people and closed restaurants for all but pickup and carryout business.


Governor Holcomb issued a series of answers to frequently asked questions regarding the stay-at-home order, which include:

When does the order take effect?

The Stay-At-Home Order takes effect Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

When does the order end?

The order ends on Monday, April 6, at 11:59 p.m. ET, but could be extended if the outbreak warrants it.

Where does the order apply?

The Stay-At-Home Order applies to the entire state of Indiana. Unless you work for an essential business or are doing an essential activity, you must stay home.

Is this mandatory or a recommendation?

This order is mandatory. For the safety of all Hoosiers, people must stay home and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

How will this order be enforced?

Staying home is critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in your community. Adhering to the order will save lives, and it is the responsibility of every Hoosier to do their part. However, if the order is not followed, the Indiana State Police will work with local law enforcement to enforce this order. The Indiana State Department of Health and the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission will enforce the restaurant and bar restrictions.

Will the Indiana National Guard enforce this order?

No. The Indiana National Guard is aiding in planning, preparation and logistics with other state agencies. For example, the Indiana National Guard assists in distributing hospital supplies the state receives.

What is an essential business?

Essential businesses and services include but are not limited to grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, police stations, fire stations, hospitals, doctorís offices, health care facilities, garbage pickup, public transit, and public service hotlines such as SNAP and HIP 2.0.

A list can be found in the Governorís executive order at in.gov/coronavirus.

What is an essential activity?

Essential activities include but are not limited to activities for health and safety, necessary supplies and services, outdoor activity, certain types of essential work, and to take care of others.

A list can be found in the Governorís executive order at in.gov/coronavirus.

I work for an essential business. Will I be allowed to travel to and from work?

Law enforcement will not be stopping drivers on their way to and from work, traveling for an essential activity such as going to the grocery store, or just taking a walk.

Will the grocery store/pharmacy be open?

Yes, grocery stores and pharmacies are essential services.

Can I still order take out/delivery from restaurants and bars?

Yes, restaurants and bars can continue to provide takeout and delivery, but should be closed to dine-in patrons.

Can I get my groceries delivered? Can I still get my online orders delivered?

Yes, you can still receive packages, get groceries delivered, and get meals delivered.

How can I get medical care?

If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider.

If you suspected you have COVID-19, please call the healthcare provider in advance so that proper precautions can be taken to limit further transmission. Older patients and individuals who have severe underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild.

If you have severe symptoms, such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face, contact your healthcare provider or emergency room and seek care immediately, but please call in advance if possible. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested.

Nonessential medical care such as eye exams and teeth-cleaning should be postponed. When possible, health care visits should be done remotely. Contact your health care provider to see what telehealth services they provide.

What is the guidance for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities?

State-operated developmental centers, intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities and community integrated living arrangements will continue to provide care. All in-home direct care staff are considered essential staff and should continue to support individuals in the home setting.

If you have specific questions about your support and services, reach out to your provider or individual service coordination agency.

What if I still have to go to work?

You should stay home unless your work is an essential function such as a health care provider, grocery store clerk or first responder. If you have been designated essential by your employer, you should continue to go to work and practice social distancing.

A list of essential businesses can be found in the Governorís executive order at in.gov/coronavirus.

What if I think my business should be closed, but theyíre still asking me to report to work?

Essential businesses will remain open during the stay-at-home order to provide services that are vital to the lives of Hoosiers. If you believe your business is nonessential but still are being asked to show up to work, you may discuss it with your employer.

A certain service is essential for me, but the governor didnít include it. What do I do?

The stay-at-home order was issued to protect the health, safety and well-being of Hoosiers. Although some businesses such as fitness centers and salons will be closed, essential services will always be available. For a list of essential businesses that will continue to operate during the order, visit in.gov/coronavirus.

Will public transportation, ride-sharing and taxis continue?

Public transportation, ride-sharing and taxis should only be used for essential travel.

Will roads in Indiana be closed?

No, the roads will remain open. You should only travel if it is for your health or essential work.

Can I still take a plane out of Indiana?

Planes and other types of transportation should be used for essential travel.

What if my home is not a safe environment?

If it is not safe for you to remain home, you are able and encouraged to find another safe place to stay during this order. Please reach out so someone can help. You can call the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or your local law enforcement.

What about homeless people who cannot stay at home?

The administration wants to protect the health and safety of all Hoosiers, regardless of where they live. State agencies are partnering with community organizations to ensure the homeless population has safe shelter.

Can I visit friends and family?

For your safety, as well as the safety of all Hoosiers, you should remain at home to help fight the spread of COVID-19. You may visit family members who need medical or other essential assistance, such as ensuring an adequate food supply.

Can I walk my dog or go to the veterinarian?

You are allowed to walk your dog and seek medical care for your pet should they require it. Practice social distancing while out on walks, maintaining at least 6 feet from other neighbors and their pets.

Can I take my kids to the park?

State parks remain open, but welcome centers, inns, and other buildings are closed. Families will be able to go outside and take a walk, run or bike ride, but they should continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people. Playgrounds are closed because they pose a high risk of increasing spreading the virus.

Can I attend a religious service?

Large gatherings, including church services, will be canceled to slow the spread of COVID-19. Religious leaders are encouraged to continue livestreaming services while practicing social distancing with one another.

Can I leave my home to exercise?

Outdoor exercise such as running or taking a walk is acceptable. However, gyms, fitness centers and associated facilities will be closed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. While exercising outside, you still should practice social distancing by running or walking at least 6 feet away from other people.

Can I go to the hair salon, spa, nail salon, tattoo parlor or barber shop?

No, these businesses are ordered closed.

Can I leave my home to do laundry?

Yes, Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers are considered essential businesses.

Can I take my child to daycare?

Yes, daycares are considered an essential business.

Can I pick up meals at my childís school?

Yes, Schools that provide free food services to students will continue on a pickup and take-home basis.

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    Finally laying around watching TV eating Cheetos saves lives, I was way ahead of my time!

    -- Posted by JohnPColeman on Mon, Mar 23, 2020, at 2:04 PM
    Response by Sabrina Stockrahm, Editor, Greene County Daily World:
    Not all heroes wear capes.
  • I hope the Greene County Commissioners decide to do the right thing and close the Courthouse for the safety of the employees.

    -- Posted by gcdw13 on Mon, Mar 23, 2020, at 8:07 PM
  • Thank you to all who are still going to work because they are essential workers in this uncertain time. Thank you to

    all who are staying home to keep themselves and others safe.

    -- Posted by ghelms on Tue, Mar 24, 2020, at 2:54 PM
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