Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced Indiana has been granted a federal Major Disaster Declaration, which provides funds to help communities recover from COVID-19.
The funding can be used to cover costs of emergency needs including crisis counseling, food programs, temporary shelters, protective equipment, safety resources and personnel.
The Governor also signed an executive order today to extend the public health emergency by an additional 30 days – to May 5. The executive order is posted here: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm. The first public health emergency was declared on March 6 and allows the state to increase coordination across all levels of government in the state’s response to coronavirus.
Gov. Holcomb also announced he will extend the Stay-at-Home Order and the restrictions on bars and restaurants an additional two weeks – to April 20 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The executive order will be signed Monday.
Additional steps taken today include:
· The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) has been working closely to provide maximum flexibility, including using telehealth, to treatment providers to ensure that crucial services for people that suffer from Serious Mental Illness, and children who suffer from Severe Emotional Disturbances can continue.
o Hoosiers can call 211, or contact your insurance company, to find access to tele-therapy, and talk to your doctor about whether medication might be right for you during this time.
o Additional mental health guidance can be found here: https://coronavirus.in.gov/files/IN_COVID-19_MentalHealth_03.31.20.pdf
· FSSA announced more than 152,000 Indiana households will receive additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits when April distributions begin this Sunday.
o The additional funds are intended to help Hoosiers obtain food and support for their families while Indiana responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to learn more: https://www.in.gov/fssa/files/SNAP_additional_funds_4-3_FINAL.pdf
· This weekend the Indiana National Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Indiana State Department of Health will scout locations for potential alternative care sites. Hoosiers may see the Indiana National Guard members traveling in communities and should not be alarmed.
· Gov. Holcomb signed a joint letter from all three branches of government to local criminal justice leaders regarding the impact of COVID-19 on detention facilities.
o The governor, Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray, House Speaker Todd Huston and Chief Justice Loretta Rush signed the letter which asks local judges, sheriffs, and county leaders to properly identify which low-risk, non-violent juveniles and inmates, if any, may be re-evaluated and released safely into their communities under pretrial, probation, or community corrections supervision. Click here to see the letter: https://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/covid19-2020-0403-release-assessment-local-effort.pdf
· Six Bureau of Motor Vehicles branches will be open by appointment only beginning Monday, April 6 to process new Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLP), new Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL), and upgrade/downgrade for the CDL to add the tank vehicle or hazardous materials endorsement credential transactions.
o These branches are opening for appointments to support the current critical need to increase the number of new licensed commercial truck drivers on the road delivering supplies and to aid in the start of agricultural season in our state. Click here to learn more: https://www.in.gov/bmv/files/pr-clp-cdl-appointment-only-hours.pdf
Click here to download public service announcements (PSAs) recorded by the state for your use: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/egf210ognxxyx4h/AADYd7E-tBn7P6gtiLSZUiVBa?dl=0
More information may be found at the ISDH website at coronavirus.in.gov and the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.