Responding to a reporter’s question at an early afternoon press conference on Thursday, Indiana’s governor, Eric Holcomb, said about the idea of issuing a statewide “shelter in place” order in response the COVID-19 pandemic: “We’re not there, yet.”
But as of late Thursday afternoon, about a dozen counties in the state have invoked their powers to issue travel advisories under the state statute that allows a county’s principal executive to declare a local disaster emergency.
The local disaster emergency for Monroe County, declared by board of commissioners president Julie Thomas on Tuesday, did not include a travel advisory.
None of the advisories, issued by the 11 other counties, rise to the level of a “warning” which would restrict travel to just emergency management workers.
Four counties, extending in a line eastward from Marian County (Indianapolis) to Wayne County, along I-70, have all issued a travel “watch,” which means that conditions are “threatening to the safety of the public.”
The line of four counties is bookended by Marion County on the east, which has 19 confirmed cases as of March 19, and Wayne County on the west, which has one confirmed case.
Howard County, which has a confirmed case of COVID-19, has also established a travel “watch.”
A handful of other counties have established a basic “travel advisory,” which means that “routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation, and individuals should use caution or avoid those areas.”
At least two city’s have invoked the powers of the principal executive to restrict travel under a local disaster emergency. According to a WTHR news report , Carmel’s mayor, Jim Brained, has restricted travel in the city north of Indianapolis. WTHR also reported that Fishers mayor Scott Fadness has imposed travel restrictions in his city.
The office of Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton, has not declared an emergency or issued a travel advisory.
Late Thursday afternoon, Mary Catherine Carmichael, Bloomington’s director of public engagement, told The Square Beacon there was not currently a plan to restrict travel inside the city of Bloomington.