INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has ordered residents to remain at home except for essential errands in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, mirroring similar orders in other states.
Holcomb said Monday that the order still allows the state’s 6.8 million residents to go outside to perform essential tasks, such as to buy groceries and medicine, and makes exemptions for employees of crucial industries.
Beginning Tuesday, state government personnel will reduce staff to only the absolutely essential workforce level, WXIN reports. Non-essential state business will have to wait. Law enforcement officials will not issue citations for expired registrations or driver’s licenses.
State government offices will close to in-person public activity until April 7. That includes the Government Center in Indianapolis, other offices in the state and BMV branches. State employees will work from home when possible. Safety public services will continue.
Holcomb said a healthcare-oriented emergency operations center will involve coordination among hospital systems in the state. He’s concerned about the surge of patients that could overwhelm hospitals in the state.
“We need to slow the spread and we need to do it now,” Holcomb said. “We know COVID-19 is spreading across the state.”
Holcomb thanked area churches for livestreaming services and holding them by remote.
He has signed an executive order to suspend food and beverage licenses for businesses that violate the drive-thru, delivery and carryout only order.
“Stay at home. Get groceries only when you need them, and buy only what you need,” Holcomb said. “I’m telling you, the next two weeks are critical.”
Holcomb has already delayed Indiana’s May 5 primary election until June 2 and ordered all schools to remain closed until at least May 1.