The Journal Gazette
Friday, April 03, 2020 2:41 pm

Holcomb extends Indiana stay-at-home order by 2 weeks

Public health emergency extended to May 3; state receives federal disaster declaration

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana’s stay-at-home order was extended Friday for two more weeks, as the state’s number of coronavirus-related deaths topped 100 with an anticipated peak of infections still weeks away.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the extension for the order that had been set to expire Tuesday.

Holcomb has repeatedly urged residents to avoid unnecessary trips outside their home and to remain at least 6 feet from those they don’t live with to help stem the spread of the virus.

Dr. Kristina Box, the state's health commissioner, said people cannot let up on precautions, even as they miss out on spring-break trips and Easter gatherings.

“These are not normal times and we cannot act as if they are,” Box said. “I know it’s hard to think about missing a family gathering, but the best thing we can do to protect our loved ones is follow the guidelines.”

State health officials on Friday reported 24 more deaths of people with confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, increasing Indiana’s statewide toll to 102. Another 408 confirmed infections boosted the statewide total to 3,437, the Indiana State Department of Health said.

Those represent only a portion of statewide cases, as the limited testing available has been focused on the seriously ill and health-care workers. Box estimated that 80% of people who have the virus have not been tested because they are not in a hospital.

State officials announced Thursday that K-12 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year in another move to limit the virus spread.

Box also said Thursday that about 700 people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 illnesses were being treated in intensive care units at hospitals across the state.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are among those particularly susceptible to more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.

Holcomb also extended the state's public health emergency order for 30 days, and said the state had received its federal disaster declaration.

For more on this story, visit later today or see Saturday's print edition of The Journal Gazette.

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