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WRTV takes viewer questions about COVID-19 to Gov. Eric Holcomb's office

Posted at 7:52 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 19:52:06-04

INDIANAPOLIS — WRTV is working to answer viewer questions about the state’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WRTV asked viewers to engage with us directly by sending questions they’d like Governor Holcomb to answer.

WRTV did this after Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb shortened his COVID-19 press briefing and didn’t take questions from reporters after like he has in the past. Instead, he made himself available earlier in the day at a U.S. Department of Commerce event.

PREVIOUS | Governor Holcomb skips Q & A after COVID briefing

Some of the questions people asked included, “Why did you open everything up when numbers are trending up?”

People also wanted to know if the state could potentially go back to stage four.

In response, Holcomb’s office directed us to an audio recording from Wednesday’s event.

“I think what we’ve proven very methodically and very data-driven is it’s not an either or," Holcomb said. "It’s not a shutdown or be open. We quite frankly have been open since day one in many different sectors. We’re in a much different place today than we were back in February or March at the outset in terms of our health care capacities, in terms of testing, in terms of our contact tracing, in terms of getting the word out, in terms of being able to care for those who are truly in need. But obviously, you take this day by day. Your concern is expressed through your actions. And that means not just the government or an individual business. That means every 6.7 million Hoosiers that are a part of this and contribute to positivity rates, etc. As the U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross just mentioned, until we have that vaccine and more therapeutics between now and then, it’s up to us to act responsibly and that’s the way we can control the spread."

Others asked if schools would be shut down and if there would be statewide mandates. Holcomb’s office responded by saying local governments will still be able to make the best decisions for their community and impose more restrictive guidelines than the state.

When asked if there was a plan in place in case numbers and hospitalizations continue to rise and what exactly “hunker down” means, WRTV was directed to the Indiana State Department of Health.

WRTV sent ISDH the questions. Megan Wade-Taxter with state health department released the following response.

Throughout the pandemic, Indiana has relied on data to inform decisions about how to safely reopen the state so that we can make changes if necessary, and that approach continues. The state maintains the ability to test Hoosiers, has an ample supply of PPE, is asking Hoosiers to participate in contact tracing to control the spread and is in daily communication with hospitals, preparedness districts, schools and industries that need guidance or assistance.

As Dr. Box said yesterday, being in Stage 5 does not mean that Indiana is back to pre-pandemic times, and Hoosiers need to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing, wash their hands and stay home if they’re sick in order to curtail the spread of the virus. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve asked Hoosiers to consider their own health and risk factors, as well as the risk factors of their close contacts, when making decisions as they go about their daily lives

Holcomb’s office also said that Governor Holcomb will continue to monitor data and listen to the guidance of medical experts.

If you have a question you’d like to ask Governor Holcomb or state health leaders, email us at workingforyou@wrtv.com.