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(INDIANAPOLIS) – Democrats’ nominee for governor warns it would be a mistake to start lifting Indiana’s coronavirus restrictions when the current stay-home order expires on Friday.

Governor Holcomb has said he expects to loosen restrictions sometime in May, though he says it’ll be a gradual approach whenever it happens. He’s indicated he’ll announce “edits” to the order on Friday. Former state health commissioner Woody Myers says the state should follow federal guidance and wait for a two-week decline in infections and hospitalizations.

Hospitalizations have been declining for the last week, but new cases have been over 600 for seven days in a row, a level Indiana had reached just once previously. Some of that jump has been driven by the explosion of cases linked to Logansport’s Tyson Foods pork processing plant. But Myers says those cases, and clusters of cases at long-term care facilities, are another indicator the state isn’t ready to loosen restrictions.

And Myers says Indiana isn’t even close to what he says should be another key benchmark: testing 10,000 Hoosiers a day for the virus, so health officials have a clearer idea of its spread. The state has

yet to reach even half that level.

Myers unveiled an outline for helping Indiana small businesses recover once restrictions are lifted. He says he’d create a state stimulus fund to fill gaps in what he charges has been a badly administered federal assistance program. He says he’d name a task force to advise how big the fund should be and how to make sure it gets to the right places. He says the state could use part of its federal coronavirus aid to finance the fund.

Myers says he’d call for an incentive program for Hoosier manufacturers to make protective gear like masks and gloves, and create a meals program for homebound senior citizens to help restaurants get back to work.