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Governor Eric J. Holcomb today signed Executive Order 20-30 to extend the public health emergency for an additional 30 days to July 4th.

The Governor also signed Executive Order 20-31 which allows older youth to remain in foster care beyond the age of 18 for the duration of the public health emergency.

This will allow them to continue to receive education, workforce training, and health benefits.

Executive Order 20-31 also extends the time period to renew professional licenses, certificates, or permits to June 30.

Due to the current restrictions on in-person dining in restaurants, the executive order reduces the number of food sales a restaurant must report to maintain its alcoholic beverage permit.

Additionally, deadlines for the calculation of local taxes were also extended by the executive order.

Click here to see the executive order: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm

The governor was joined by other state officials, including Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, State Health Commissioner Kristina Box, and Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Jennifer Sullivan.

Holcomb and Dr. Box restated the importance of the Fairbanks COVID-19 statewide sampling study, of which the second round of testing started today, and encouraged Hoosiers to participate if they are contacted.

Dr. Box recounted the state’s latest coronavirus numbers, as reported by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) on Wednesday. 

ISDH reported 511 new coronavirus cases between April 24 and June 2 and 10 additional deaths between May 29 and June 2, bringing the statewide totals to 35,712 and 2,032 respectively. Marion County has now seen more than 10,000 positive cases. 

Dr. Box said she was concerned about protests and the potential of spreading the coronavirus and possibly seeing a spike in the state’s case numbers.

“Of course I’m concerned,” she said. “Please take precautions as you are gathering.”

Dr. Dan Rusyniak, Chief Medical Officer for Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) spoke about recent discrepancies in COVID-19 reporting in long-term care facilities.

Dr. Rusyniak said FSSA is looking into these discrepancies. “Our focus for long-term care facilities has been how to prevent and mitigate outbreaks,” he said.

According to Dr. Rusyniak the state deployed strike teams, surveyors went to facilities early, and Indiana recognized there were outbreaks that occurred that we didn’t hear about until later. He said that is why, on April 10, the state ruled that all long-term care facilities would have to report cases within 24 hours.

“CMS has acknowledged that the data in the systems is unlikely to align with the states’ data because of the way they are counted,” Rusyniak said.

He said there are now guidelines for visitors and restrictions are not without consequences. He added that isolation has had a serious impact and technology like facetime calls cannot substitute an in-person visit.

Dr. Rusyniak said transmission risks are much lower outdoors, and the risk of coronavirus and the need for family interactions at these facilities can be balanced, and the state will soon be releasing guidelines for outdoor visitations.

“We are working on a timeline so that everyone can visit those they love without a restriction,” said Rusyniak.

Indiana remains in Stage 3 of Holcomb’s “Back on Track Indiana Plan.” Stage 4 isn’t expected to start until June 14.