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Indiana Gov. Holcomb to extend stay home order to May 1

April 17, 2020 GMT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The executive stay home order for Indiana that expires Monday will be extended to May 1 as planning is underway to reopen parts of the state’s economy, Gov. Eric Holcomb said Friday.

Holcomb said a state task force is seeking ideas from various business sectors on on how they can safely reopen for operators, workers and customers.

Data on the virus and its impact across the state will guide decisions on stay home orders and reopening the economy, Holcomb told reporters.

“We’ve been operating in very responsible, two-week increments in terms of these executive orders so that that allows us to appropriately adjust or accommodate these facts on the ground as they come in,” Holcomb said.

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Indiana is reporting 642 new confirmed cases, bringing the state’s total to 10,154. Forty-two new deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, occurred between April 3 and Thursday, bringing the state’s death toll to 519, the Indiana State Department of Health reported.

Thirty of those new deaths occurred Wednesday and Thursday, according to the state agency, which reported that another 642 confirmed coronavirus cases had increased Indiana’s total cases to 10,154, following corrections to the previous day’s total.

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As of Thursday, 54,785 Indiana residents had been tested for the coronavirus, the department said.

State prison officials said Thursday that a northern Indiana prison with the state’s only confirmed prison inmate death from COVID-19 had seen its confirmed coronavirus cases surge to nearly 90.

The Westville Correctional Facility’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have risen from seven to 87, the Indiana Department of Correction said.

As of Thursday afternoon, DOC officials said the prison located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Gary, accounted for 75% of the 116 inmates statewide who have tested positive the coronavirus, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

State Health Commissioner Kristina Box said Thursday during the state’s daily coronavirus briefing that there continues to be an increase in coronavirus cases in jails and correctional facilities across the state.