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New Indiana coronavirus order won’t ban tighter local rules

Indianapolis city, health and faith leaders set-up the new COVID-19 testing site in the city's most vulnerable neighborhoods. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Indianapolis officials extended their city’s stay-at-home order on Thursday by two weeks through May 15, saying the state’s largest city was still experiencing too many COVID-19 cases to safely relax restrictions.

Posted: Apr 30, 2020 5:01 PM
Updated: Apr 30, 2020 6:39 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Any easing of Indiana’s statewide stay-at-home order won’t limit the authority of city or county officials from imposing tighter restrictions in their attempts to slow the coronavirus that is blamed in the deaths of at least 1,000 people across the state, the governor said Thursday.

About 57,000 more people applied for unemployment benefits in Indiana last week as the state continues to see record numbers of newly jobless people stemming from the COVID-19 economic slowdown.

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STATEWIDE ORDER

Gov. Eric Holcomb is poised to announce on Friday modifications to the business and travel directives that have been in place since March 25 as a growing number of states are loosening their shutdown orders.

Indianapolis officials, however, extended the city’s stay-at-home order on Thursday by two weeks through May 15, saying the state’s largest city was still experiencing too many COVID-19 cases to safely relax restrictions.

Some other cities and counties around the state also have adopted rules responding to outbreaks in their communities.

Holcomb said he supported Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett’s decision and that the new state order wouldn’t strip away local authority.

“Local jurisdictions can always be stricter than what we have said,” Holcomb said. “This has been the case, not just once, in the state of Indiana. We’ll seek to 100% of the time work with those local officials.”

Holcomb spoke Thursday from Kokomo, where he joined Vice President Mike Pence in touring a General Motors electronics plant that’s been converted to produce critical care ventilators for hospitals around the country.

Holcomb said his changes to statewide restrictions will come in stages, but did not provide any details.

“This will not just be back to normal, or back to business as we used to do it,” Holcomb said. “This is going be very methodical.”

INDIANAPOLIS RULES

The Indianapolis stay-at-home order will continue until at least May 15, including a ban on dine-in service at restaurants and the closure of nonessential businesses such as movie theaters, fitness centers and hair salons.

The city has nearly one-third of both Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths and confirmed infections and not enough slowdown in new cases to make resuming normal activity in large venues and densely populated neighborhoods, Hogsett said.

That step might not come soon as the mayor said he hoped Indianapolis “can reopen over the next few months so long as the data dictates that we can.”

SHOPPING MALLS

The plan by Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group for reopening its three shopping malls in the city as soon as Saturday was opposed by city officials.

Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department, said she had “huge concerns” about the malls reopening.

“It would just increase our numbers dramatically, put other citizens at risk considerably, and it may undo all the good work we have put in place related to our shelter-in-place and stay-at-home philosophies,” Caine said.

Simon has also planned to reopen seven other malls around the state.

A company spokeswoman didn’t answer questions Thursday about the status of its plans.

Holcomb said he believed Simon would comply with all state and local requirements.

JOBLESS JUMP

Federal statistics released Thursday show Indiana has had nearly 570,000 people seek jobless aid over the past six weeks.

That growth in the unemployed since March 15 is more than five times greater than Indiana’s total of about 105,000 people seeking jobs in February.

More than 30 million people across the country have now filed for unemployment since coronavirus closures started and economists have forecast that the national unemployment rate for April could go as high as 20%.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1560117

Reported Deaths: 20796
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2118112563
Lake1021301523
Allen964791027
Hamilton75541551
St. Joseph66476761
Elkhart51045634
Vanderburgh50511531
Tippecanoe45721338
Johnson39600527
Hendricks37933463
Porter35132476
Madison30330547
Clark27296331
Vigo26401347
Monroe24100249
LaPorte23921313
Howard23237381
Delaware22453370
Hancock19314220
Bartholomew18980216
Kosciusko18400204
Warrick17733216
Wayne16982303
Floyd16686257
Grant15966300
Morgan15091232
Boone13924138
Dearborn12235113
Shelby12225152
Noble12170142
Henry12027202
Dubois11696152
Marshall11625171
Jackson11111104
Cass10578143
Lawrence10529221
Huntington10523140
DeKalb10482132
Gibson10114127
Montgomery9671144
Harrison9471117
Knox9415125
Whitley902571
Steuben8934105
Putnam8542100
Miami8533135
Clinton849397
Jasper8462116
Jefferson8319127
Wabash8027140
Ripley7504117
Scott685787
Adams6829103
Daviess6825130
White638184
Greene6317112
Clay628975
Decatur6261121
Jennings619781
Wells6090121
Fayette6054122
Posey580148
LaGrange549097
Randolph5364129
Washington528071
Owen5211100
Fountain493681
Spencer467456
Sullivan462066
Fulton450993
Orange449784
Starke448887
Rush433941
Jay432564
Perry409155
Carroll394749
Franklin394650
Vermillion370762
Pike334246
Parke331239
Tipton330475
Blackford282255
Pulaski281775
Brown239856
Newton239761
Benton228921
Crawford224932
Switzerland207914
Martin196722
Warren183922
Union178119
Ohio129216
Unassigned0763

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2515949

Reported Deaths: 31987
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2719422100
Cuyahoga2606673087
Hamilton1758091756
Montgomery1177451651
Summit1089011418
Lucas935321193
Butler83907963
Stark771001431
Lorain64214809
Warren53428489
Mahoning51224930
Lake47591611
Clermont46928452
Delaware41107220
Trumbull39746790
Licking38790416
Medina38646427
Fairfield35828349
Greene34313435
Portage32429366
Clark32361453
Richland29653444
Wood29379301
Allen25875403
Miami24243408
Muskingum23564255
Columbiana23046409
Wayne22093365
Tuscarawas19637428
Marion18616235
Erie18608224
Ashtabula18569362
Scioto18159214
Ross17594260
Pickaway16419181
Hancock16115232
Geauga15511229
Lawrence15094186
Belmont14236248
Union1419584
Huron13908184
Jefferson13656261
Sandusky13268200
Athens12877107
Knox12160201
Seneca12055204
Darke11440202
Ashland11248184
Washington11152172
Auglaize10873147
Crawford10432178
Shelby10402160
Brown10094145
Highland9746151
Fulton9726154
Guernsey9683122
Defiance9567137
Logan9470147
Clinton9428132
Mercer9099112
Madison9032111
Preble8524170
Williams8305138
Putnam8069136
Champaign8040113
Ottawa7971123
Jackson7848121
Perry7514102
Coshocton7411136
Morrow729184
Fayette715992
Pike666689
Hardin6564133
Gallia638891
Adams6227127
Van Wert6065121
Henry602596
Hocking5918105
Wyandot503594
Carroll5009101
Holmes4880167
Paulding426465
Meigs400974
Monroe316468
Harrison299162
Noble296952
Morgan292748
Vinton258646
Unassigned08
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Huntington
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Decatur
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Van Wert
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Bitterly cold wind chills are expected across the region Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
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