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(INDIANAPOLIS) – Governor Holcomb says emerging from Indiana’s statewide lockdown will be a step-by-step process.

Holcomb says a reopening of the state would begin with people who have already been exposed to known coronavirus patients. The next wave would likely involve what he calls the “new normal” of people returning to work but wearing masks.

State health commissioner Kristina Box says she now expects the long-awaited surge of coronavirus

patients in Indianapolis at the end of April, with the rest of the state a week or two afterward. Holcomb says he won’t act prematurely to reopen nonessential businesses and lift a three-week-old stay-at-home order. He says it’ll be a data-driven decision, analyzing Indiana’s inventory of intensive-care beds, ventilators and protective gear to assess whether hospitals have the capacity to handle the expected arrivals of new patients. He credits the early decision to order social distancing, and Hoosiers’ diligence in following those orders, with flattening the curve of the virus’s advance. But he says he doesn’t want to undo the sacrifices Hoosiers have made by acting too quickly and triggering a second wave of the virus.

The Indiana State Department of Health says Indiana hospitals currently have 1,300 open intensive

care beds and 2,100 available ventilators. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation says it’s

purchased 1.9 million masks, gowns, gloves and face shields, with commitments to acquire

700,000 more. Commerce Secretary Jim Schellinger says 15 Hoosier companies have repurposed

their production lines to churn out needed equipment, while other companies have acquired and donated more.

Holcomb says he’s conferring weekly with Ohio Governor Michael DeWine and Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear about what the endgame of the statewide lockdowns would look like, and the steps which might be involved in gradually reopening.

At his daily briefing on the state’s pandemic response, Holcomb twice avoided answering directly when asked about President Trump’s claim that decisions on reopening the states rest with the president and not governors. He says Indiana’s been working with the administration, and says he and the president both “have Hoosiers’ best interests at heart.”

Holcomb says he’ll announce “tweaks” to his stay-at-home order on Friday, three days before it’s currently set to expire. He says he’ll review the next several days of data in deciding whether those changes are “escalation or de-escalation.”