FORT WAYNE, (WANE) – The recent spike in COVID-19 cases has Governor Eric Holcomb considering going back to televised weekly briefings as well as extending the mask mandate, which is set to expire Oct. 17.
Holcomb said a key concern is how to ensure the public is getting the latest and updated information needed from the state.
“Wednesdays are one way of doing that, we are still on an hour by hour basis all over the state of Indiana every single day,” Holcomb said. “The key is how we get this information out, obviously I don’t want to miss an opportunity to stress just how important that is with numbers going up.”
For the past few months, Governor Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box have been holding weekly COVID-19 Briefings to inform Hoosier’s of the coronavirus situation in the state. Last week, the Governor began holding those briefings online as the state moved into Stage 5.
“Specifically, in certain areas, surging in some areas, we need to be able to surgically address that and we need to underscore that point that our actions in actions have consequences whether they are good or bad consequences.”
The Governor didn’t say directly he will start back with the televised briefings but he did say it is being considered.
For months the message has been “mask up Hoosiers” and “Slow the Spread.”
The current mask mandate is set to expire on Saturday after months of Hoosier’s being required to wear masks when in public.
When speaking about the actions, the Governor stressed that he knows that masking up works to help slow the spread, to “literally save lives,” and livelihoods to keep the economy open. Not only is the Governor considering going back to the weekly briefings he is also considering extending the mask mandate.
“There are thoughts on extending that,” said Governor Holcomb. “We’ll make that decision this Wednesday.”
Holcomb said the masks work along with practicing good hygiene and social distancing. Hoosiers’ behavior and actions has a major impact on what stage the state is in.
Stage 5 is a “managed stage” that is operated in a public health emergency scenario explained Governor Holcomb. This stage requires a lot of state and local enforcement in terms of capacity level.
“If we want to continue to help folks who need help, we need our economy to be open, we can’t have it both ways, we can’t say ‘everybody needs to stay home shutdown and oh, what are we going to do with all of the problems over here’, because that’s how we help people,” Holcomb said.
Governor Holcomb also commends schools for slowing the spread.
“We got fourth graders, principals, school teachers, superintendents proving that we can meet responsibly,” Holcomb said. “What we are learning is, whether it’s a wedding or a funeral or a soccer game or a house party those are when you let your guard down and you just that it wouldn’t happen to you or you won’t be a spreader. You’re asymptomatic you don’t know you got it but you done, so you let your guard down that is where we are seeing spread. Surges aren’t happening in our schools and they deserve a lot of credit. If they can do it Eric Holcomb can do it.”