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Indiana Government Actions on COVID-19 – Updated 6/9/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- Cancellation of the State Fair
- Possibility of casinos reopening on June 14
- Governor extending the pandemic-related health emergency
- Launch of “Rapid Recovery for a Better Future” program
- Schools set to reopen July 1
- The Indiana State Fair, which was originally scheduled to take place in August, has been cancelled. Last year nearly 879,000 people attended the fair, so canceling this year made the most sense with the global pandemic still an issue. The executive director of the Indiana State Fair Commission stated, “safety is our number one priority.” The fair provides an opportunity for children to showcase the hard work they have done on 4-H projects during the year. The commission plans to honor the 4-H exhibitors by modifying the Indiana State Fair 4-H livestock show, with more updates expected in the upcoming weeks.
- Governor Holcomb announced that along with the state moving into Stage 4 on June 14, casinos will also be allowed to reopen, so long as they get approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission. Under Stage 4 of the governor’s reopening plan, places such as bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, and bowling alleys will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity. Currently, there are no guidelines for casinos reopening, but an announcement on that can be expected once the state’s gaming commission approves the reopenings.
- Governor Holcomb announced last week that he will extend the pandemic-related health emergency through July 4. An Executive Order extends a number of deadlines. For example, foster children beyond the age of 18 will be allowed to remain in foster care, and time for professional license renewal and other permits will be extended to the end of June. The deadline to file state income tax returns will be extended to July 15. As the Executive Order states, these decisions were made because the “virus remains a serious threat to the health, safety, and welfare of all Indiana residents.”
- Thanks to federal funding, Indiana has launched the “Rapid Recovery for a Better Future” program. It is designed to help residents find a job, learn new skills, obtain grants, and have access to resources that can help them obtain or advance their careers. The online program allows training for careers such as a certified nursing assistant or gives residents the ability to obtain a commercial driver’s license. The program also allows residents to access other resources, such as contact with career coaches.
- Governor Holcomb plans to reopen schools on July 1, following certain guidelines. For example, each school will need to designate a separate room for anyone not feeling well, restrict access to water fountains, confine the eating of meals to classrooms, increase cleaning, and stagger drop-off and pick-up times. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19, whether showing symptoms or being asymptomatic, must wait at least ten symptom-free days and obtain a release from a healthcare provider before returning to school. Schools are also encouraged to follow CDC and state and local guidelines for mask use and social distancing.