In Indiana, Gov. Eric Holcomb extended the state of emergency order and also announced that public schools will remain closed until at least May 1.
The state’s Department of Health today reported 17 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing to 56 the number of Hoosiers diagnosed through ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and private laboratories. Two Hoosiers have died. The new cases involve residents of Howard (3), Lake (1), Marion (8), Owen (1), St. Joseph (2), Tippecanoe (1) and Wayne (1) counties. The list of counties with cases is included in the ISDH COVID-19 dashboard at, which will be updated daily at 10 a.m. Cases are listed by county of residence.
Here’s a quick summary of other actions taken by Holcomb:
State of Emergency Extension
•         The Governor will extend the current state of emergency an additional 30 days when it expires on April 5.
K-12 schools
•         All K-12 public schools will remain closed until May 1. Non-public schools are also ordered closed. This date may be revised to extend through the end of the 2019-2020 school year if circumstances warrant.
•         All-state mandated assessments will be canceled for the current academic year. The governor has contacted U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to share the state’s plan and also has asked the Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick to pursue any federal waivers needed to cancel the requirements for accountability, chronic absenteeism and state-mandated assessments.
•         The state of Indiana will align with the federal government to delay state income tax payments from April 15 to July 15. The U.S. Treasury extended the deadline to pay federal income tax by 90 days.
•         Penalties will be waived for 60 days for property tax paid after May 11. The state will work with counties that may experience cash flow stress because of the delay.
•         The state will not immediately move forward with using $300 million in reserves to pay for several capital projects approved in the just-concluded legislative session and instead maintain flexibility to utilize the funds as needed for relief efforts and to maintain current services. The state will consider using bonding authority to move forward with the just-approved capital projects.
•         Providers of essential utility services such as gas and electric, broadband, telecom, water and wastewater services are prohibited from discontinuing service to any customer during the public health emergency.
•         The state’s application to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was approved on Wednesday. This program provides targeted, low-interest loans of up to $2 million to help small businesses and nonprofits overcome the temporary loss of revenue as a result of coronavirus. See more at
Unemployment Insurance Benefits
•         The state will interpret Indiana’s unemployment laws to the broadest extent possible to cover Hoosiers who are out of work because of COVID-19.
•         Benefits will be paid to individuals who file their initial unemployment claims late.
•         The Department of Workforce Development will allow individuals to continue to accrue unemployment eligibility if they take work leave because of COVID-19.
•         DWD will seek federal authorization to provide unemployment benefits for those who are not otherwise eligible for unemployment, such individuals who have recently started a job.
•         For employers, DWD will not assess certain experience rate penalties because of employees who receive unemployment benefits because of COVID-19.
•         No residential eviction proceedings or foreclosure actions may be initiated during the public health emergency. This does not relieve the individual of obligations to pay rent or mortgage payments.
•         All public housing authorities are requested to extend deadlines for housing assistance recipients and required documentation to show eligibility for housing programs.
•         The Indiana Department of Financial Institutions and Indiana Community Housing Development Authority are required to work with financial institutions to identify tools to help promote housing stability.
Social Services
•         Participants in the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program are not required to make premium payments.
•         Job search requirements are waived for those applying for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits.
•         The Family and Social Services Administration will seek a federal waiver to extend renewals for existing Medicaid and HIP recipients.
•         Telehealth services for mental health, substance use disorder and prescribing for Medicaid covered services will be expanded.
•         The commissioner of the state Department of Insurance will request that insurers institute a 60-day moratorium on policy cancellations for non-payment of premiums. This does not suspend a policyholder’s obligation to make payments.
•         The commissioner will ask health insurers to cover COVID-19 testing without requiring prior authorization.
•         The commissioner will request that health insurers not increase prices or coverage costs that involve medical care for COVID-19.
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
•         To limit the number of in-branch transactions, late fees will be waived for several driver’s licenses and identification card renewals, vehicle registrations, titles, and certain other transactions.
•         Other operational changes in branches are being instituted to provide for the safety of employees and customers in branches, such as spacing between terminals and limiting the number of customers in the lobby.
•         Requirements have been relaxed for veterans to qualify for awards from the Military Family Relief Fund.
•         Awards in excess of $2,500 may be approved by the IDVA director during the public health emergency.
Health and Professional Licensing
•         Mental health professionals are permitted to practice via telemedicine.
•         Advance Practice Registered Nurses are allowed to provide services in multiple locations.
•         The state health commissioner may waive requirements of the nursing home certificate of need statute to respond to COVID-19 issues for long-term care facilities.
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In response to concerns about COVID-19, the Hamilton Circuit and Superior Courts went to an emergency operations plan. They are working with local emergency management and health departments to ensure they are taking the necessary steps in response to the virus. 
Maintaining required court operations is important, and the health and safety of employees and community is equally important. Therefore, the Hamilton Circuit and Superior Courts are adjusting the operations and procedures in the following ways:
The Courts will continue to be open and hold essential emergency hearings during this time. This includes and is not limited to the following: 
Initial hearing for in-custody defendants
Bond reviews
Initial hearings on CHINS and continued initial hearings
Fact findings for CHINS that are time sensitive
Protection order hearings
Civil commitments
Probate mental health hearings
Detention hearings for CHINS and juvenile delinquencies
Any other hearing at the discretion of the Judge
With regards to Jury Duty, individuals who have received a jury summons for March 18, 2020 through May 4, 2020 should not report for jury service.
All Attorneys/Litigants/Parties to a case, who are scheduled to come to court for any hearing from March 18, 2020 through May 4, 2020 should consult or contact your attorney to receive the advice of counsel to verify your court date.
Indiana's e-filing system IS WORKING. Cases and documents may continue to be filed in the Hamilton Circuit and Superior Courts using the Indiana E-file system. Parties may continue to access information on their cases at or by contacting their attorney to receive the advice of counsel.
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In Carmel, Mayor Jim Brainard signed an order declaring a local disaster emergency, prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the new orders, an end to unnecessary travel, the closure of all Carmel public playgrounds and an advisory to local work-out facilities to close and for banks to remain open, but only with ATM and drive-thru services.
“I realize that the steps we are taking are difficult for local business owners and residents, but we must act quickly and we must act now to prevent the further spread of this deadly virus that has brought much pain and death to China and European countries and is threatening to do the same here in the United States of America,” said Mayor Brainard. “The pain we are experiencing today is nowhere near the pain we will most certainly experience if we sit back and do nothing. I urge all Carmel residents to join me in fighting this virus.”
Effective Wednesday, March 18 at 7 p.m., travel in the city of Carmel is only permitted for the following reasons: Medical reasons, providing care to one who you’re the primary caregiver for, mandatory work activities, food, groceries, medication, essential household goods, and hygiene products. This restriction does not impact travel related to food delivery or the resupply of retail stores, pharmacies, and food pantries.
Here are the details:
•       A “Watch” travel advisory for the declared emergency is in effect within the corporate limits of the City of Carmel.  Under this advisory, only essential travel is permitted and all non-essential travel should be avoided.  This advisory does not affect travel in Carmel for the following purposes: (1) travel relating to medical care or diagnostic testing for oneself or another; (2) travel required to provide care to another for whom the traveler is a primary caregiver; (3) travel for mandatory employment activities; (4) travel required to obtain fuel, food, groceries, medication, or essential household goods and personal hygiene products; (5) travel relating to food delivery or to the resupply of retail stores, pharmacies, or food pantries; (6) travel for recreational purposes where the driver and passengers do not leave the vehicle; or, (7) travel by individuals engaged in employment needed to restore utility service or provide any other emergency public service.
•       All employers within the City of Carmel are strongly encouraged to allow for teleworking arrangements to the maximum extent possible to minimize the amount of mandatory work travel.
•       All businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations located within the City of Carmel should implement their emergency action plans.
•       All public playgrounds located within the City of Carmel shall be closed. All trails and multi-use paths shall remain open and walking or bicycling thereon, as well as in public parks, is both permitted and encouraged.
•       All gyms and workout facilities located within the City of Carmel should offer only individual “one trainer-one guest” sessions.
•       All banks, credit unions, and investment services located within the City of Carmel should offer only drive-up, ATM, or “one financial advisor-one client” sessions.
•       All hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers located within the City of Carmel should postpone all elective and non-emergency surgical procedures in accordance with and subject to Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-04.
•       All retail businesses located within the City of Carmel whose facilities have drive-up capabilities should require customers to use this drive-up service only.
•       All bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other establishments that provide in-dining services within the City of Carmel must close their operations to in-person patrons and provide drive-thru, take-out, and delivery services only, in accordance with and subject to Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-04.
This Declaration will be in effect until a further declaration is issued or as determined by the Mayor of the City of Carmel. 
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In Fishers, Mayor Scott Fadness will release a daily briefing to keep residents informed of the actions the City of Fishers is taking to reduce the impacts of Coronavirus on the community. On Wednesday, March 18, the City of Fishers completed the following under the City’s top response priorities:
Mitigate Spread of Coronavirus
Continued coordination with county health and emergency management 
Issued Executive Order suspending door to door solicitation
Public Safety
Refined staffing plans for public safety in the event officers become symptomatic
Ready Access to Food
Developing interactive map for food, restaurants, etc.
Ready Access to Medical Care
Coordinated with the Red Cross to bring blood drive to Fishers to address critical shortages.
Clear, Concise Communications to Residents
Developed and mailed letter to age-targeted neighborhoods in Fishers to reach the senior population in the event they do not have access to the internet.
Ongoing City Hall Operations
Daily meeting with COVID-19 leadership team to assess priority items and responses.
Since March 6, the City of Fishers has been taking the necessary steps to prepare for COVID-19. The following is a summary of those steps to date:
Mitigate Spread of Coronavirus
Issued Executive Order declaring a local disaster emergency, instating a travel watch. This prohibits travel outside of work, medical, caregiving, and grocery visits or restaurant takeout.
Continued coordination with county health and emergency management ?Issued Executive Order suspending door to door solicitation
Public Safety
Launch public safety response plans
Outfit public safety personnel with personal protection equipment (PPE)
Refined staffing plans for public safety in the event officers become symptomatic
Ready Access to Food
Identify food pantries to provide list to residents who are food insecure
Conference call with all Fishers restaurants to identify locations that are serving food for carryout or delivery.
Develop interactive map for food, restaurants to better inform residents of where to get access to food via
carryout or delivery.
Ready Access to Medical Care
Prepare public safety personnel with appropriate response equipment (PPEs and masks)
Launch public information campaign on the procedures to take if residents become symptomatic.
Add telehealth options to COVID-19 landing page.
Coordinated with the Red Cross to bring blood drive to Fishers to address critical shortages.
Clear, Concise Communications to Residents
Launched the COVID-19 landing page on as a central hub for all information related to Fishers’ response to Coronavirus.
Launched the Fishers COVID-19 Hotline at 317-595-3211, staffed 24/7 to answer questions and connect those in need with resources
Launched social media campaign to simplify Fishers recommendations for COVID-19 response
Released Mayor’s Community Plan for COVID-19 with response recommendations for: businesses, schools and childcare centers, nonprofits, places of worship, and individuals
Conduct bi-weekly informational conference calls with Mayor’s COVID-19 Leadership Team and key groups in the community outlined in the Community Plan.
Developed and mailed letter to age-targeted neighborhoods in Fishers to reach the senior population in the event they do not have access to the internet.
Ongoing City Hall Operations
Implement COVID-19 sick policy
Implement staffing response policy
Administrative and office staff begin work-from-home procedures
DPW implement small-team operations
Daily meeting with COVID-19 leadership team to assess priority items and responses.
Weekly city leadership meetings to assess all work across organization.
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The Hamilton County North and South BZA meetings scheduled for March 25 were canceled.
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Simon Malls closed all their properties, including multiple locations in and around Hamilton County. They will stay closed through March 29.
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First Financial Bank is announcing new steps to protect its associates and customers while continuing to support retail and commercial clients during the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the Coronavirus.?Beginning March 18, 2020, First Financial will limit access to its banking center lobbies to ensure the safety of its associates and clients while continuing to provide full banking services. Clients are encouraged to use drive-through lanes, ATMs, ITMs, and digital services to conduct banking transactions. Clients can schedule appointments to meet with bankers to open and close accounts, and for essential services that cannot be handled through one of the other service options. Banking center phone numbers can be found at and through the First Financial mobile app.?* * *
For the protection of customers, staff, their families, as well as the citizens, The Farmers Bank is temporarily suspending lobby access except by appointment only at all Farmers Bank locations effective Thursday, March 19th at noon until further notice. ? Drive-up facilities will remain open during normal drive-up business hours. All bank services are currently still available: Contact a customer service representative or a loan officer at local branches or by calling 765-654-8731 to answer any questions or schedule all necessary appointments. ?* * *
Effective Thursday, March 19th the lobbies of all Horizon Bank locations throughout Indiana and Michigan will be open by appointment only. The bank’s drive up, ATM, and Live Video Banking facilities will remain open and hours of operation will remain unchanged at this time. In addition, all offices and departments will be staffed and available to assist you by telephone.