Indiana Government Actions on COVID-19 – Updated 9/10/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- State Department of Health communicating with CDC about possible vaccine
- State launching online portal for school case information
- Opening of new testing sites
- State and utilities making large investment in broadband infrastructure
- Universities and K-12 schools making changes in response to pandemic numbers
- Indianapolis having limited reopening of bars and nightclubs
- The State Department of Health has been communicating with the CDC regarding a vaccine that could be available as early as November. Part of the discussions include who should be given the vaccine first. The state’s plan is expected to be released in the coming weeks.
- Kris Box, Indiana’s State Health Commissioner, has announced the state’s plan to launch an online portal to provide COVID-19 case information on a school-by-school basis. The portal, which is currently being tested, is meant to enhance decision making for parents, schools, and the state.
- This week, Governor Holcomb announced the launch of nearly 100 new coronavirus testing sites across the state. The state plans to have three dozen local sites open by the end of the week, with about 60 more sites scheduled to open by October 1. Local health departments will provide the testing for free to state residents.
- Last week Governor Holcomb announced the investment of $51 million in grants for 50 broadband infrastructure expansion projects across the state. In addition, “16 telecommunications providers and utility cooperatives have contributed more than $53 million in matching funds,” putting the total investment in the broadband projects at over $104 million.
- Purdue University announced a modified Spring 2021 calendar to accommodate students who desire an all-online option. Classes will start January 19, with spring break being eliminated to account for the late start.
- Indiana University has placed 30 of its 40 Greek houses under quarantine, with their positivity rates reaching as high as 87.5%. According to the University, it is not seeing the same positivity rate within the dorms, but it does not have the authority to shut down the Greek Houses. Instead, the University is encouraging students who live in Greek Housing to live elsewhere.
- This week, Hamilton Southeastern Schools (near Indianapolis) moved its pre-school through grade 4 students to a 50-50 hybrid model (after beginning the school year with all virtual learning). Starting September 17, students in grades 5 through 12 will also begin 50-50 hybrid model learning.
- Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced that starting Tuesday, bars and nightclubs could reopen as long as they operated under the limited capacity guidelines of 25% for indoor seating and 50% for outdoor seating. Bar seating will still be closed, establishments must still close at midnight, and tables may not have more than six people. If a bar or nightclub violates any of these guidelines three times, it will be closed a minimum of 30 days.