Hoosiers across the state are finding themselves in unprecedented circumstances as they adjust their daily lives to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Throughout this critical time, our state is taking essential steps to ensure our health care system has the resources it needs to fight this war against COVID-19, and keep Hoosiers safe and healthy.
Just recently, Gov. Eric Holcomb issued an executive order urging Hoosiers to stay home as much as possible as the state deals with this ongoing pandemic. This order goes into effect March 25 and will last until April 7. During this time, I urge you to only travel for essential purposes such as going to work, grocery shopping or checking in on a loved one. For a list of frequently asked questions about this stay-at-home order, visit in.gov/coronavirus.
This comes after Governor Holcomb extended Indiana's public health emergency, which was scheduled to expire on April 5. This declaration opens up additional access to vital resources for our state to help combat this virus, and it is one of many critical steps Indiana has taken to help slow the spread. Hoosiers can visit in.gov/coronavirus for the latest on the state's response, sign-up for email updates and other helpful resources.
Other decisive measures taken by the governor include closing schools through May 1 and canceling state standardized exams for the 2019-2020 school year. While these changes cause substantial disruption for our students and families, it is a necessary move to keep this sickness from spreading throughout classrooms and beyond.
Unfortunately, this ongoing health crisis has many workers bracing for a financial hit. Indiana quickly took action to cut red tape and remove barriers for Hoosiers so they can quickly obtain unemployment benefits to help bridge the gap in their personal budgets. To learn more and to apply, visit unemployment.in.gov.
House District 24 is home to many small businesses that are critical economic drivers in our community. In an effort to provide them some relief during this time, these businesses are eligible for financial assistance under a disaster designation by the U.S. Small Business Administration. To apply for loans or receive more information about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, visit SBA.gov/disaster.
While several resources are available to help Hoosiers mitigate the coronavirus and its impact, everyone has a role in protecting themselves and our most vulnerable populations. Always use good hygiene by washing your hands, not touching your face and staying home when you're sick. It is also important to practice social distancing to help conserve hospital resources. Throughout this public health emergency, the Indiana State Department of Health offers a 24/7 call line at 877-826-0011 for general questions from the public and health care providers. This hotline cannot off medical advice or test results.
This is challenging time for everyone as we adjust to this evolving situation. However, I am confident Hoosiers will weather this storm, and Indiana's leaders are doing everything within their power to activate resources and protect Hoosiers.
State Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) represents House District 24, which includes portions of Boone and Hamilton counties.