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Protesters gather at governor’s mansion; virus cases up

April 18, 2020 GMT
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Protesters gather outside the Indiana governor's mansion in Indianapolis, Saturday, April 18, 2020, to protest against the governor's stay-at-home order to ease restrictions meant to control the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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Protesters gather outside the Indiana governor's mansion in Indianapolis, Saturday, April 18, 2020, to protest against the governor's stay-at-home order to ease restrictions meant to control the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — More than 200 people upset over restrictions on Indiana residents because of the coronavirus protested Saturday outside the state mansion of Gov. Eric Holcomb, urging him to back off and restart the economy.

People carrying signs and American flags stood close together along the street outside the home in Indianapolis. Cars passing the scene honked in support, although the rally wasn’t as large as a similar event Wednesday in Michigan.

Signs said, “If Holcomb’s job is essential, everyone’s job is essential!” and “Open Indiana Now!” Another said, “Not here for Trump here for freedom!”

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Holcomb, a Republican, said a stay-at-home order that expires Monday will be extended to May 1 while he works on a plan to reopen businesses.

Earlier in the week, ahead of the rally, he disagreed with critics who accused him of acting illegally.

“If we disagree about that, then I’d be more than welcome to sit down with anyone that wants to go over the constitution or see where our authority is derived from,” Holcomb said.

Meanwhile, the state health department reported 529 new coronavirus cases between April 7 and Friday at noon, raising the total to 10,641. Nearly 57,000 tests have been reported.

The number of deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, rose by 26 to 545, the health department said.