Governor Holcomb, State Officials Give Update on COVID-19 Response

As Indiana continues to fight the spread of COVID-19, Governor Eric Holcomb says that businesses, organizations, and average citizens are stepping forward to help.

“We received, earlier today, a commitment of $5 million from the Lilly Endowment to use as we see fit to fight back,” Holcomb said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “That’s how we’re going to be able to help the homeless throughout the State of Indiana. This is going to have a transformational positive impact, even when we get to the other side of this. We’re learning how to do things in a moment of crisis that are going to benefit an untold number of people, maybe some people who have been on the margins, and we’re doing the right thing.”

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box also noted that the GM plant in Kokomo has begun a partnership to ramp up production of ventilators soon. She said that as the number COVID-19 cases continues to grow, health officials can no longer track down every single contact of anyone who tests positive. Instead, Box called on residents to take personal responsibility. “If you test positive, tell your employer and anyone that you are in close contact with, so that they can quarantine themselves and monitor for symptoms,” she said.

Box said that testing is now available in all parts of the state, but she said the State Department of Health still suggests targeting testing for those who doctors believe need it the most. She reminded those who are sick to stay home, but try to keep elderly and other high-risk members of the household separate.

Meanwhile, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter stressed that those working in essential businesses are allowed to travel to and from work. He also took aim at online “fear mongering.” “Please only go to those sites, everybody that’s watching and listening to this, that you know are reputable,” Carter said. “It’s easy to say something that you don’t believe when you’re in some far-off place. We must watch out for each other.”

State EMS Medical Director Dr. Michael Kaufmann added that 911 dispatchers have been given additional screening questions to help direct patients to the right care, while the Department of Homeland Security has waived certain rules for ambulance providers, to increase the number of crew members available.