Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued an order Monday for Hoosiers to remain in their homes to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The order was issued during a news conference on Monday and is scheduled to take effect just before midnight on Tuesday, March 24. The order, which is planned to remain in effect until Tuesday, April 7, asks all Hoosiers to remain at home except for essential travel.
According to a release issued at the time of the news conference, individuals should only travel to an essential job, taking care of others and to obtain necessary supplies. While carry-out and delivery services from restaurants will be allowed to continue, the order effectively orders that all hair and nail salons, barber shops, spas, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness centers to close.
“The next two weeks are critical if we are to slow the spread of COVID-19, and we must slow the spread. You must be part of the solution, not the problem,” Holcomb said.
According to a frequently asked questions site launched regarding the order, state and local law enforcement will be enforcing the order. The site notes that the National Guard will not be enforcing the order.
“Adhering to the order will save lives, and it is the responsibility of every Hoosier to do their part,” the site states. “However, if the order is not followed, the Indiana State Police will work with local law enforcement to enforce this order. The Indiana State Department of Health and the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission will enforce the restaurant and bar restrictions.”
While the stay-at-home order specifies that individuals should only leave home for essential travel, the order does not discourage individuals from participating in outdoor activities.
“Families will be able to go outside and take a walk, run or bike ride, but they should continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people,” the site states. “Playgrounds are closed because they pose a high risk of increasing spreading the virus.”
The announcement comes as the number of positive cases in Indiana reaches 259 with seven reported deaths. According to the Indiana Department of Health, Marion County had 110 positive cases as of Sunday night.
“I’m setting the example by sending state government personnel home to work to the maximum extent possible and closing our facilities to public interaction beginning Tuesday, for at least the next two weeks,” Holcomb said.
The order also comes with more direction regarding state government activities. According to the release, all state government offices, including Bureau of Motor Vehicles branches, will be closed to in-person public activity throughout the duration of the order.
The release states that some state employees will continue to work remotely when possible and may continue to provide core functions online and by phone. In addition, the release states that all public safety functions will continue.
According to the release, all state-issued licenses will receive an automatic extension and law enforcement will be advised to refrain from issuing citations for a driver’s license or registration that expires during the emergency.
For more information visit the state’s frequently asked questions site regarding the order at https://www.in.gov/gov/3232.htm.