INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — As Indiana continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Eric Holcomb and other state officials held another briefing.
The governor spoke to Hoosiers on Friday to give an update on the state’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Holcomb said officials will hold the daily COVID-19 press conferences virtually starting on Monday.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box reported seven new deaths and said health officials are doing everything they can every day to decrease the risk that more Hoosier families experience these losses.
Box said that no state is going to get through this pandemic without having outbreaks in long term care facilities, and the first priority is caring for those at most risk.
Box also announced the Indiana State Department of Health’s website dashboard has been enhanced to include the gender and ages of those who test positive.
Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Joe McGuinness addressed travel across the state and announced a reduction of 31% traffic on state highways (45% reduction of sedans, vans, personal vehicle traffic) on Thursday.
McGuinness reminded commuters to slow down in construction zones, and that INDOT workers continue to maintain highways for essential travel while practicing social distancing.
Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner Rob Carter said correctional industry employees have reverse-engineered samples of gowns and face masks are in full production of 200 gowns a day, with 200 daily masks to be in production by Monday.
Holcomb encouraged Hoosiers to continue to show support to food workers and faith leaders, as well as the National Guard for their work with food pantries.
Holcomb said the state has the inventory of ICU beds and ventilators to handle the patients we have today. He said when we get closer to spiking, we will keep the public informed of alternative measures.
The governor re-emphasized the critical importance of practicing social distancing. The Indiana State Department of Health reported 981 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 24 deaths from the coronavirus in its Friday update.