Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Indiana, US, extend orders requiring residents to stay home, nonessential businesses to remain closed until May 1.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Evansville, Indiana
  • Columbus, Indiana
  • South Bend, Indiana
  • Valparaiso, Indiana
  • Terre Haute, Indiana
  • Bloomington, Indiana
  • Lafayette, Indiana

This alert began 20 Apr 2020 23:23 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: COVID-19 Restrictions
  • Location(s): Indiana (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 1
  • Impact: Movement restrictions, significant transport and business disruptions, heightened security

Summary
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb extended order requiring residents to stay at home except for essential tasks, and nonessential businesses to remain closed, until at least May 1, as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The stay-at-home order had initially been issued until April 20 and was now extended for at least ten more days. The order stipulates that residents can leave their homes to purchase basic goods, to attend a medical issue, to care for people in need, or to go to work at an essential business or service. Among the businesses that can keep their operations open are grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare facilities, and services related to security, transport, energy, and manufacturing, as well as essential government functions. Other businesses can continue to operate with employees working from their homes. Restaurants may provide delivery and pickup services only. With the revised, extended order, hospitals in Indiana can start performing certain non-emergency procedures.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will almost certainly deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measure. Officials could amend the order in short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Indiana authorities are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int

Government of Indiana - Coronavirus Updates: https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/

Governor of Indiana - Stay-at-Home Order: https://www.in.gov/gov/files/Executive_Order_20-08_Stay_at_Home.pdf