Governor issues stay-at-home order

By Mandy Underwood

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb delivered a statewide address today to order that Hoosiers remain in their homes except when they are at work or for permitted activities, such as taking care of others, obtaining necessary supplies, and for health and safety. The order is in effect from March 25 to April 7.

“The next two weeks are critical if we are to slow the spread of COVID-19, and we must slow the spread. You must be part of the solution, not the problem,” Gov. Holcomb said.

The first positive case of COVID-19 in Indiana was reported on March 6. Since then the number of positive cases has increased on a near daily basis, escalating as the capacity to test has grown. As of this morning, the number of tests completed in Indiana is 1,960, the number of positive cases is 259 and 7 deaths have been reported.

“I’m setting the example by sending state government personnel home to work to the maximum extent possible and closing our facilities to public interaction beginning Tuesday, for at least the next two weeks,” said Gov. Holcomb.

Beginning Tuesday, all state government offices will be closed to in-person public activity until at least April 7. This includes the Government Center complex in Indianapolis and other offices throughout the state, including Bureau of Motor Vehicle branches. State employees will work remotely whenever possible and continue to provide core functions online and by phone. All public safety functions will continue.

In conjunction with the closures, Gov. Holcomb ordered an automatic extension of all state-issued licenses and will advise law enforcement to refrain from issuing citations for a driver’s license or registration that expires during this emergency.

The state, in conjunction with the city and all hospital systems in Marion County, has activated a comprehensive emergency operations center to maximize hospital capacity and provide joint coordination. The center is charged with tracking the inventory of all hospital beds, supplies and personnel as the number of COVID-19 patients grows.

“I am proud of our hospital systems that are participating in the initial phase of this process, Eskenazi Health, IU Health, Franciscan Health, Community Health Network, and Ascension,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Marion County is where we’ve seen the most community spread to date, but we will expand this model to other parts of the state.”

Later on Monday, March 23, Wabash City Mayor Scott Long held a virtual press conference live on Facebook to work through the order from Governor Holcomb for the citizens of Wabash.

He helped to answer some frequently asked questions, such as what is considered to be an essential business.

“Basically, it’s pretty broad right now,” he said.

“The list  includes grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, police and fire stations, hospitals and doctor’s offices and other health care facilities obviously.”

He went on to list even more businesses that are considered essential at this time, reminding people that restaurants are allowed to do carry out and delivery, but dine in options are prohibited. He also encouraged people to do delivery as much as possible in order to lessen the amount of people leaving their homes.

Long also urged people to work from home if possible.

He also explained that there are criteria for individuals to meet in order to be tested for COVID-19. If an individual does not meet the criteria, they will not be tested.

“Don’t get upset if you don’t get tested, be thankful that you probably do not have COVID-19 if you do not exhibit all the symptoms.”

Mayor Long met with the County Commissioners, emergency personnel, and hospital personnel Monday to set up a line of contact.

“From this point forward, they are going to funnel information to me, and I am going to be the point of contact for any of these live streams to answer questions that come into these departments or others.”

“There are numerous questions that the public has concerning this situation and the bottom line is, we are trying to limit exposure over the next two weeks,” said Long. 

The public can direct their questions by email to

“I will try to answer questions directed to that email address as quickly as possible,” said Long.

Posted on 2020 Mar 24