Governor Announces Additional Steps To Prevent Spread of Coronavirus

Mar 12, 2020

Holcomb said in a statement he "fully expects" additional steps will be needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (FILE PHOTO: Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Credit FILE PHOTO: Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Thursday steps Indiana will take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The state had reported 12 known cases as of Thursday morning.

In a news release, the governor calls some of the steps “drastic” but says now is the time to act.

“This is a time when we must do all we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19, protect our most vulnerable populations and reduce their potential to acquire or spread this virus,” Holcomb said. “While some actions are drastic, now, not later, is the time to act.”

READ MORE: What Do You Need To Know About Coronavirus? We’ve Got Answers.

Effective immediately, non-essential gatherings in the state will be limited to no more than 250 people. This includes churches, conference rooms and auditoriums.

Among the other steps announced by the governor: Schools will get a 20-day waiver of the required 180 instructional days for the remainder of the school year. The news release said the days do not need to be used consecutively and schools are asked to plan for broader closures, like implementing e-learning days and remote classroom options.

Child and adult care facilities should limit large gatherings and practice social distancing. Medical facilities should restrict and screen visitors. Minors and anyone who is showing signs of illness or has been in contact with a sick person, has traveled internationally, or resides in a community with a known COVID-19 case will not be permitted to visit medical facilitates.

The Indiana Department of Correction has also suspended visitation at all facilities. The governor said people over 60 or those with underlying health issues should limit public exposure. He encourages people to arrange to provide food and other essential items for those who are high risk.

The goal is to slow the spread of the coronavirus and protect people in high-risk categories. 

“I fully expect there will be additional actions warranted in the coming days,” Holcomb said. “Just as we have since the beginning of the year, we are working with partners at all levels to secure all necessary resources for any escalation of this virus.”

Contact Darian at dbenson@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @helloimdarian.

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.