Gov. Holcomb encourages Hoosiers not to become impatient amid lockdown

Two days into Indiana’s coronavirus lockdown, Governor Holcomb is encouraging Hoosiers not to get impatient.

Holcomb says it’s good people got outdoors Tuesday under sunny skies. Holcomb’s stay-home order specifically notes it’s okay to leave your house to go for a walk. But the spring weather got some people overexcited — Carmel has closed part of the Monon Trail because too many hikers and bikers crowded together there.

Holcomb says you still need to stay away from people, even outside, to slow the spread of the virus.

State health commissioner Kristina Box scolded an unnamed nursing home for taking several residents to the hospital after they tested positive for the virus. She says people with the virus need to be isolated from those who don’t, but there’s no need for nursing home residents or anyone else to go to the hospital unless their symptoms are serious. She says going to the hospital with a run-of-the-mill cough and fever puts unnecessary strain on already overstressed resources, and exposes health care workers to the virus.

Box says the health department will be talking with nursing homes across the state to remind them to draft a protocol for handling virus cases and stick to it.

Holcomb praises nursing homes who have used Skype or other videoconferencing tools to make sure residents can still have contact with loved ones, He says he hopes people aren’t becoming “numb” to the upward creep of the death toll, which reached 17 on Thursday. More than 600 Hoosiers have been diagnosed with the virus.

Holcomb warns the battle to contain the virus is “not a marathon, but a triathlon.” He repeated that the state won’t ease up on restrictions until it’s safe to do so, and says that decision will be based on the advice of doctors and scientists “on the ground in Indiana.” He brushed aside a question about a letter President Trump announced he’ll be sending the nation’s governors, offering “guidance” on risk levels from county to county to help them decide where they can relax restrictions.

At least 20 governors have ordered residents to stay home, with at least six others closing all non-essential businesses.

Holcomb offered a hint of optimism in saying he’s looking forward to the rescheduled Indy 500 in August — and noting the new date falls on the scheduled final day of the State Fair.