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Get the latest on the global Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic as it impacts Northwest Indiana, the state, country, and globe. Bookmark this page as there will be several updates each day from Lakeshore Public Radio, IPB News, NPR, and the Associated Press.

Holcomb Announces New Steps To Slow COVID-19 Spread

Gov. Eric Holcomb's office announced new steps Monday to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in Indiana. (FILE PHOTO: Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Gov. Eric Holcomb's office announced new steps Monday to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in Indiana. (FILE PHOTO: Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office announced new steps Monday to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The changes affect bars and restaurants, hospitals and government agencies, among other groups. In a statement, the governor’s office said it was adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance to cancel or postpone in-person events of more than 50 people.

The governor’s office is also encouraging Hoosiers to donate blood.

READ MORE: What Do You Need To Know About Coronavirus? We’ve Got Answers.

Public School Corporations

The statement said 273 public school districts are closed – either using e-learning days or on spring break with future closures. The Department of Education is working with the remaining 16 school corporations to determine their next steps and needs.

In a memo sent to superintendents late Friday, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) announced Indiana would seek "forgiveness" for required state tests, including the IREAD-3 and ILEARN.

Bars, Restaurants Closing

Indiana will join neighboring states like Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky in closing bars, nightclubs and restaurants to in-person patrons. Indiana’s closure runs through the end of March, and allows take-out and delivery services to continue. 

The Indiana Gaming Commission announced Sunday it had ordered the state’s casinos to close, effective Monday morning at 6 a.m., for at least two weeks.

Hospitals, Health Facilities

The governor’s office recommended hospitals and surgical centers cancel or postpone elective and non-urgent surgical procedures – with the caveat that physicians should continue to perform critical procedures. 

IU Health and other hospital systems have already restricted visitor access across the state.

State Parks, Recreation

The governor’s office also announced the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, and the White River State Park visitor’s center will close starting Tuesday. 

However, Indiana state parks and recreation centers – including inns – will stay open. Restaurants will convert to take-out and delivery service.

Government Facilities, Services

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s Emergency Operations Center has raised to Level 1 status – working more closely with the Indiana State Department of Health to plan and predict needs for the pandemic.

The state Department of Workforce Development has suspended rules requiring Hoosiers receiving unemployment to go to Work One centers in-person for the next four weeks. The department is also requesting flexibility under federal and state law to expand eligibility for claimants and ease burdens on employers.

This story will be updated, following a press conference from Governor Holcomb at 2:30 p.m.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.

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