(KOKOMO, Ind.) – State and local health departments are giving clearer guidance on what it would take to lift pandemic lockdown orders.
Howard County has extended a stay-home advisory through May 4, but is encouraging nonessential
businesses to reopen for curbside and delivery service only. Howard County chief health officer Don Zent says it would take 10-to-14 days of reduced spread to feel secure about lifting restrictions. And Howard Regional Health doctor Tim Gatewood says with broad-based testing for coronavirus unavailable for the foreseeable future, it’s critical to move slowly, relaxing restrictions step by step.
Indianapolis and Greenwood have stay-home orders in effect through May 1. A statewide order expires Monday, but Governor Holcomb has said he’ll announce tweaks to that order on Friday.
Holcomb and state health commissioner Kristina Box haven’t given a hard timeline for how long an
apparent flattening of the curve needs to continue, but have emphasized the lifting of restrictions will be driven by data on the virus’s spread and how much space, equipment, and personnel hospitals have to handle a fresh wave of patients.
Holcomb has said any loosening of restrictions will take place in phases. He’s among seven Great Lakes region governors who announced Thursday they’ll coordinate their efforts to emerge from lockdown. Holcomb has floated several possible components of that phase-in, including requiring masks in public, loosening restrictions in some parts of the state before others, or sending those already exposed to the virus back to work before others.