Indiana Government Actions on COVID-19 – Updated 4/6/2020
Today’s update includes information on:
- extending the public health emergency
- extending stay-at-home order
- granting of federal Major Disaster Declaration
- release of non-violent prisoners
- adding additional SNAP benefits
- On Friday, April 3, 2020, Governor Holcomb signed a new Executive Order extending the public health emergency by an additional 30 days to May 5, 2020. The order also extends all other Executive Orders issued since March 6 that are supplements to the original order declaring a public health emergency for the COVID-19 outbreak. This extension will allow the state to increase coordination across all levels of government in the state’s response to COVID-19.
- Governor Holcomb, during his daily press conference on COVID-19 updates, announced that he will extend the state’s stay-at-home order for an additional two weeks. Originally, the order was in place from March 25 until April 7, but it will now be in place until at least April 20, 2020. Recognizing that a public emergency still exists, the extension is necessary to continue to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Indiana leaders from the three branches of state government sent a letter on Friday to local criminal justice officials regarding COVID-19. The letter states that any action to release prisoners in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 is a local decision. The release of prisoners only applies to “low-risk, non-violent juveniles and inmates,” who will be subjected to supervision within their communities. A decision to release these individuals should lessen the chance of COVID-19 spreading to other inmates, juveniles, staff, and service providers living and working within the confined spaces. All decisions are to be made in a responsible and humane manner during a time of a widespread public health emergency.
- During his daily press conference on Friday, Governor Holcomb announced that Indiana had been granted a federal Major Disaster Declaration. This declaration should provide additional funding to help communities recover from the effects of COVID-19. For example, the funding can be used to cover costs of emergency needs, including crisis counseling, food programs, temporary shelters, protective equipment, safety resources, and personnel.
- More than 152,000 Indiana households will receive additional SNAP benefits as of Sunday. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration made the announcement in a news release on Friday, stating that the additional benefits are necessary to help residents obtain food and support for their families while the state responds to the pandemic. This decision is coming from the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which gives states the option to maximize benefits.