Gov. Holcomb provides update hours before 'stay-at-home' order goes into effect

Gov. Eric Holcomb discussing the state's coronavirus response on March 24, 2020. (WTHR)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Governor Eric Holcomb and other state officials provided an update Tuesday afternoon on the state's COVID-19 response.

It comes just hours before his "stay-at-home" order goes into effect.

It will last from March 25 to April 7.

"We are going to throw everything back at repelling COVID-19 that we have," Holcomb said.

Rising numbers

Gov. Holcomb said right now they are focused on a two-week timeline and what steps Indiana needs to be taking.

He went on to say if you look at the numbers, it will put the fear of God in you that the time to act has come.

ISDH reports the number of cases is rising as the state increases testing on targeted groups of high-risk individuals.

About 13 percent of those tested are coming back positive.

ISDH reported 12 deaths on Tuesday with a possible 13th death in Howard County.

Testing for COVID-19 is now available in all parts of the state. ISDH expects more individual facilities around the state to help with testing those most at risk with COVID-19.

The state has seen a slight uptick in calls from people with breathing issues and expect a "surge" still to come.

Medical supplies

Indiana has received supplies based on its population from the government and is hoping to also receive FEMA supplies to help with protective gear for medical workers.

The Kokomo General Motors Components Holding plant is now redeploying to build ventilators with Ventec Life Systems to help those suffering from more serious symptoms of COVID-19. There is not a specific timeline on when that will happen and begin to be available.

Stay-at-home order

The governor's "stay-at-home order" goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

Hoosiers should stay in their homes except when they are part of an essential business or for permitted activities, such as taking care of others, obtaining necessary supplies, and for health and safety.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security discussed an issue with a hotline for businesses to call to determine if they were an essential business. The line went down under the surge of calls Tuesday morning and was restored an hour later. As of 2 p.m., the line had received more than 1,000 calls.

The "Critical Industries Hotline" will be open each day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to help guide businesses and industries with the executive order.

The number for the center is 877-820-0890 or you can email This is for business and industry questions only, not for employees at businesses still open. Employees are being told to check with their employer to find out if their business is considered essential.

Unemployment benefits

The state received 38,000 calls on Monday about unemployment, who is eligible and how to apply. Every Hoosier that is out of work through no fault of their own is eligible for benefits. That includes those quarantined and those at home with students home from school. You can find resource to help you by clicking here including filing for unemployment.

The state is still looking into how to help those who are self-employed and those not necessarily eligible for unemployment. An update on that is expected Wednesday.