APCoronavirusIndiana News

New Indiana coronavirus order won’t ban tighter local rules

(Supplied/Gov. Eric Holcomb)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP): Any easing of Indiana’s statewide stay-at-home order won’t limit the authority of city or county officials from imposing tighter restrictions in their attempts to slow the coronavirus that is blamed in the deaths of at least 1,000 people across the state, the governor said Thursday.

Gov. Eric Holcomb is poised to announce today modifications to the business and travel directives that have been in place since March 25 as a growing number of states are loosening their shutdown orders.

Indianapolis officials, however, extended the city’s stay-at-home order on Thursday by two weeks through May 15, saying the state’s largest city was still experiencing too many COVID-19 cases to safely relax restrictions. Some other cities and counties around the state also have adopted rules responding to outbreaks in their communities.

Holcomb said he supported Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett’s decision and that the new state order wouldn’t strip away local authority.

“Local jurisdictions can always be stricter than what we have said,” Holcomb said. “This has been the case, not just once, in the state of Indiana. We’ll seek to 100% of the time work with those local officials.”

Holcomb spoke Thursday from Kokomo, where he joined Vice President Mike Pence in touring a General Motors electronics plant that’s been converted to produce critical care ventilators for hospitals around the country.

Holcomb said his changes to statewide restrictions will come in stages, but did not provide any details

“This will not just be back to normal, or back to business as we used to do it,” Holcomb said. “This is going to be very methodical.”

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