Sick, homeless, jobless Hoosiers addressed during COVID-19 update

Coronavirus
Data pix.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – We’re learning more about how the state is addressing testing, homelessness and enforcement during the stay-at-home order.

At this point, there are no plans to test everyone for COVID-19 in Indiana.

“We need our clinicians to be able to use their good clinical judgement,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box.

Even if you have symptoms, you may not be tested.

“Individuals that are sick should stay home," said Box. "If they are doing well, they don’t need to be tested. Again, if they have contact with our highest risk populations, or they are at high risk themselves ,or they get more ill and need to come to the emergency room, then testing is indicated.”

State officials said homeless hoosiers are most at risk for the disease. That’s why the state will provide shelter for them during this time. It’s funded by the Lilly Foundation, staffed by Eskenazi and secured by the Indiana National Guard.

“We plan to accept the first individuals within the next few days," said Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. "We will also work with additional communities to replicate this collaboration across the state of Indiana.”

Indiana State Police and local law enforcement are instructed to enforce this stay-at-home order, but they’re using discretion as to how. ISP Superintendent Doug Carter said they won’t be pulling people over to check if they are headed to an essential errand, but he hopes they will follow the order anyway.

“Please know that we will help you along the way, that’s what we do,” said Supt. Carter.

Carter urges people to stop spreading rumors during this time. He gave an example of someone falsely claiming hospitals were no longer helping the elderly sick with COVID-19.

“I am disgusted. At this point in time, when we are challenged beyond anything that we have experienced in our lifetime that someone would say such a thing," said Carter. "Please only go to those sites everybody that is watching and listening to this that you know are reputable.”

The number of people applying for unemployment is off the charts. More than 38,000 called in on Monday asking about eligibility.

“Every Hoosier who has worked and is out of work due to no reason of their own is eligible to apply for their unemployment insurance benefits,” said Fred Payne, commissioner of Indiana State Workforce Development.

You are urged to apply online at www.unemployment.in.gov.

Companies are asked to fast track this process by sending the state laid off employee info.
Governor Holcomb said financial help is coming to both employees and businesses on the state level, but he urges the federal government to act too.

“I’m hopeful that folks in Washington can put side these political games like we have here in the state of Indiana and get help here now," said Holcomb. "We need each other.”

More press conferences are expected Wednesday and throughout this process.

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