Gov. Holcomb updates coronavirus response, changes for unemployed

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks during a COVID-19 news conference at the Statehouse, March 26, 2020. (WTHR)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Gov. Eric Holcomb gave an update on how the coronavirus is affecting Indiana.

The Indiana State Department of Health stressed that people need to social distance even when they go out in the nice weather.

The governor has waived the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits and work is being done to expand who can receive benefits.

Federal changes are allowing for Independent contractors, self-employed, and those with limited work experience to apply for benefits. Additional changes are an additional 13 weeks on top of the current 26 weeks of benefits. There will also be an increase in the amount of benefits you receive for a 4-month period.

It takes about 21 days for processing and work is being done in Indiana to update symptoms to process claims more quickly and handle a surge in claims.

State officials said they will need to dip into the $2.3 billion in state reserves to help Hoosiers. About a billion dollars has already been allocated to help with the COVID-19 downturn.

Indiana State Police said there has been reports of people being stopped by law enforcement for being out during the stay-at-home order. ISP Superintendent Doug Carter said that should not be happening and that people are not required to carry paperwork establishing them as an employee of an essential business.

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 168 more positive cases of COVID-19 Thursday and three more deaths due to the virus.