Gov. Eric Holcomb on Monday signed an executive order requiring Hoosiers to stay at home for two weeks, with few exceptions, to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.
As of Monday afternoon, 1,900 people in Indiana had been tested for coronavirus, 259 tested positive, and seven had died.
Every Hoosier is ordered to stay at home, with few exceptions, and the Indiana State Police are tasked with enforcing the order in partnership with local authorities, while the Indiana National Guard will be used for preparation and logistics, such as distributing the hospital supplies the state receives.
The order expires at 11:59 p.m. April 6, but could be extended if the outbreak warrants it.
“Staying home is critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in your community. Adhering to the order will save lives, and it is the responsibility of every Hoosier to do their part,” the statement said.
Holcomb also closed non-essential state offices, including the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, but state employees will work from home when possible. And all public safety services will continue.
Boone County Commissioners met Monday morning and extended the state of emergency they declared last week and will reassess next week. State law allows only one week of a state of emergency at a time.
“It provides the chief executive of the county – in this case Mr. (Donnie) Lawson – the ability to respond very quickly to emergencies whether it be repositioning assets, limiting contact,” Boone County Attorney Bob Clutter said last week. “If we find out something has to be closed immediately, then he has the authority and the ability to do that.”
Commissioners limited access to the Boone County Courthouse, requiring visitors to first answer health screening questions and have their temperature taken.
Holcomb’s order also closed businesses the state defines as non-essential, such as hair and nail salons, barbers, tattoo parlors and others.
Essential businesses may remain open and those include groceries, pharmacies, police and fire services, healthcare facilities, banks, the U.S. Post Office, FedEx, UPS, laundromats, dry cleaners, laundry service providers, child daycare services, and others. A more exhaustive list is available online at in.gov/coronavirus.
Employees of essential businesses and services may travel to work but are encouraged to work from home if they can.
Businesses have had to adapt to shortages and frightened customers recently. Some shortened operating hours to relive tired employees and allow for cleaning and restocking.
Even those defined as essential are taking unusual steps for continuity and safety. Akard Ture Value Hardware & Rentals in Zionsville, for instance, is offering call-ahead curbside pickup and free delivery.
Hoosiers are allowed to travel for essential activities, which includes travel for health and safety, necessary supplies and services, outdoor activities, and to take care of others. For a more exhaustive list, visit the website at in.gov/coronavirus.
Restaurants may continue to serve carryout and delivery orders, and the state has relaxed rules for carryout alcoholic beverages.
Large gatherings, including church services, have been cancelled to prevent the spread of COVID, but religious leaders are encouraged to livestream their services.
And extended families are asked not to visit one another or friends, also to prevent the virus’ spread.
Public gyms have been closed, but people are encouraged to walk and exercise outdoors while practicing a social distance of at least 6 feet between themselves and their neighbors or others on the street and in parks.