Gov. Holcomb discusses state’s response to coronavirus pandemic as officials expect surge in patients


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb spoke to Hoosiers Monday to give an update on the state’s efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus. Officials are preparing for a surge in patients.

For the first time, Holcomb gave the address virtually. It can be watched in the player above this story.

One week ago today, Holcomb announced the order for Hoosiers to stay at home unless they are traveling for essential purposes.

Holcomb announced Monday he signed an executive order removing some regulatory barriers to help Indiana get ready for an expected surge in patients.

Health officials expect Indiana’s peak in cases to happen in mid-April to mid-May. Construction of new hospitals to help meet demand may happen if they are needed.

Right now, Indiana has 1,940 critical care beds and 1,777 ventilators available. They’re hoping to double the number of both by the time the surge in patients happens.

Retired physicians and nearly-graduated medical students are being asked to step in to help, and many already have answered the call. Gov. Holcomb says more than 5,300 medical workers have offered to help.

The executive order allows the following professionals who do not currently hold an active license to practice:

  • medical professionals who retired or became inactive in the last five years
  • medical professionals who hold licenses in other states
  • medical professionals who held licenses in other states and retired or became inactive in the last five years
  • certain medical students and graduates

If you would like to help, you can take a volunteer survey on the state’s website.

“This is reflective of who we are and if you’re contemplating pitching in, there’s room in the inn,” Holcomb said. “We need more people to step up to help. The more that do the faster we will all collectively get through this.”

Gov. Holcomb also sent a letter to President Trump to declare a major disaster declaration for Indiana to free up some federal funds.

Monday morning, new numbers from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) showed a total of 1,786 cases in Indiana, with 35 deaths reported. More than 11,000 people have been tested statewide.

Marion County has the most cases in the state, with 804. COVID-19 has been detected in 79 of Indiana’s 92 counties.

New details about how long restaurants are ordered to offer only takeout and delivery are expected Tuesday.

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