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Governor Holcomb's Wednesday pandemic briefing

School superintendent has message for students
Posted at 4:25 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 21:07:38-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and other state officials briefed reporters Wednesday on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some key takeaways from the briefing.

Dr. Kris Box, Indiana State Health Commissioner

  • 115 new cases of COVID-19 in Indiana for a total of 477 with 14 deaths, the latest in Howard and Hancock counties
  • New cases of the virus are being reported every day as more testing takes place.
  • 3,356 tests of coronavirus have been done in Indiana. 14% of those tests have come back positive.
  • State has received its second shipment of medical supplies from a federal stockpile. Four or five truckloads arrived this week. Supplies include gowns, masks, gloves and face shields which will be distributed to hospitals with the greatest need.
  • Dr. Box was asked why the state is not releasing more specific demographic information about the people who have tested positive. She expects those numbers will be available soon.
  • Was asked, but was not able to provide specific figures on the number of Intensive Care Unit beds and ventilators that are available at Indiana hospitals.

Dr. Jennifer McCormick, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

  • Her message to students: "Make sure you are working hard, make sure you stay positive and make sure you are being a good partner during a very difficult time."
  • Department of Education has identified four priorities during this difficult time: Ensuring essential resources are getting to our schools, providing academic support, engaging educators, and preparing guidance for schools and districts so they can prepare to operate now, in the near future and in the long term.
  • Some schools have supplies hospitals can use. These include gloves, masks and gowns. Her department is working to get these supplies where they can do the most good.

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger

  • His office has been in touch with over 1,000 Indiana companies, asking for suggestions on how the Indiana Economic Development Corporation can be of assistance.
  • 115 companies have come to the state saying they can make many of the medical supplies needed by hospitals.
  • One example: Fiat-Chrysler will make 1,000 masks per-month.
  • Positive news continues; The state received a commitment this week from a large "out-of-the-country" business that will locate in Indiana with 750 jobs in the medical information technology business. He would not be more specific on what company it is or where it plans to locate.

Governor Eric Holcomb.

  • Expressed his appreciation to a number of Indiana companies that have volunteered to produce face masks and hand sanitizer for medical workers and first-responders.
  • Believes the state will weather the economic storm the pandemic has created.