Indiana officials: ‘We’re prepared for a safe and smooth election day’

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb gave another update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic Friday.

The governor was joined by other state officials, including Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Indiana State Health (ISDH) Commissioner Kristina Box, Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Fred Payne and Indiana Economic Development Corporation Chief of Staff Luke Bosso.

Dr. Box reported the coronavirus numbers from ISDH, including 614 new positive coronavirus cases and 42 new deaths, bringing the statewide totals to 26,655 and 1,550 respectively.

Box said 19% of patients needed hospitalization, and only 4% went to ICU with 72% having been discharged. According to Dr. Box, 8,100 have been tested at the drive-thru clinics and an additional 50 sites have been launched around the state.

Box added that 5,000 more people will be tested randomly in June as part of the IU Fairbanks study.

Luke Bosso of IEDC gave a PPE update, saying, “To date the state has secured commitments for more than 16 million pieces of PPE, up from 9 million previously reported.”

Bosso also said 12,000 orders are expected to be fulfilled next week, and the state is trying to source from outside the marketplace to maintain commitment is front-line workers.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson said, “We are prepared for a safe and smooth election day … we all need to remain vigilant in the days to come.” 

Lawson said election offices will be supplied with PPE and the Indiana National Guard will handle distribution. She also reported that some PPE election supplies are being held back in the event that a recount is ordered.

According to Lawson, those voting in person need to wear or bring their own masks. Lawson said she recommends voting by mail and the deadline to request a mail ballot is May 21. 

She said starting May 26, you can start voting in person early and Hoosiers should check with your voting location for more information. Lawson added that being paid as a poll worker will not prevent you from getting unemployment benefits thanks to an executive order signed by Gov. Holcomb.

Governor Holcomb reminded Hoosiers to fill out their census forms at my2020census.gov.

Marion County has started to relax some of its COVID-19 restrictions as the stay-at-home order expires today. It will enter a limited “Phase 2” of Governor Holcomb’s “Back on Track” plan.

Places like malls and other stores can open their doors to customers at 50 percent capacity. People can also hold public gatherings with 25 or less people. That include places of worship.

The majority of the rest of the state has already entered “Phase 2,” but Marion County was delayed due to unique population-related challenges it faces.

Holcomb was asked about Indianapolis Mayor Hogsett’s decisions and to whether or not Holcomb believes they are lawful.

Holcomb responded, “We said we would be supportive of localities if they want to be more stringent … this is the case of the mayor doing just that … as for the legal ramifications, that’s for the court to decide.”

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