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(INDIANAPOLIS) – Indiana’s health emergency was extended another month over the weekend — but for the first time, the state is actively looking at whether it’s time to end it.

Governor Holcomb has asked agency heads to report back on whether and how to end the state of emergency when the latest extension runs out on December 1. He says the extension of the COVID vaccine to kids as young as five will mean fewer opportunities for the continued spread of what Holcomb says is now “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” And the governor says the state has learned more about how to handle a possible surge.

The emergency order has been in effect for 20 months. Holcomb hasn’t issued any restrictions under the emergency order since allowing capacity limits and a mask order to expire in April. But the emergency declaration still allows looser licensing requirements for health care workers to help avert staffing shortages, and maintains Indiana’s eligibility for some federal aid.

Holcomb cautions he hasn’t made a final decision to end the emergency declaration. He says the 30 days until the expiration date allows time to watch the latest trends, and to confer with agency heads to make sure nothing’s been overlooked.

State health commissioner Kris Box warned last week she fears another virus surge over the winter. Indiana has seen a three-percent increase in COVID-19 cases over the last week after a monthlong decline, though the state’s positivity rate continues to fall. The state is averaging nearly 1,700 new cases a day.