Upward nudge in Monroe County COVID-19 case numbers means local health regs likely to stay in place, after governor’s April 6 end date

The dark purple line is the 7-day rolling average of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. The height of the red line is at 21.2 cases a day. That’s the daily average below which Monroe County needs to stay in order to remain in the “yellow” category for weekly cases per 100,000 residents, in the state’s dual-metric classification scheme.

Indiana governor Eric Holcomb announced Tuesday an end to statewide COVID-19 restrictions, starting April 6.

But Monroe County health administrator Penny Caudill said on Friday that Monroe County’s regulations will remain in place for the time being.

That’s based in part on a recent uptick in positive cases in the county, which includes Indiana University’s campus.

Caudill was speaking at the weekly Friday news conference held by local officials on COVID-19 response.

Under the county board of health’s current health order, Caudill and county health officer Thomas Sharp have the “the ability to adjust restrictions—in any particular area—as required, in order to protect the public health.”

The county board of health is next scheduled to meet on April 6 at 4 p.m. Caudill said the board routinely looks at the pandemic data to make changes and adapt as numbers improve. Continue reading “Upward nudge in Monroe County COVID-19 case numbers means local health regs likely to stay in place, after governor’s April 6 end date”

Indiana governor on when stay-at-home order might change: “I will be listening to doctors, physicians, scientists, law enforcement…”

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Screen grab from Indiana governor Eric Holcomb’s March 26, 2020 press conference on COVID-19 updates. In the right of the frame is ASL interpreter Andy Rork.

The daily 2:30 p.m. press briefings that Indiana governor Eric Holcomb is now providing are made accessible to the Deaf community by ASL interpreter Andy Rork.

Not needing Rork’s translation at this Thursday’s briefing, was Holcomb’s answer to a reporter’s question, about the people he’d look to for guidance on lifting or extending his stay-at-home order. The order had gone into effect two days earlier. Continue reading “Indiana governor on when stay-at-home order might change: “I will be listening to doctors, physicians, scientists, law enforcement…””

Indiana governor about “shelter in place” for COVID-19: “We’re not there, yet.”

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.”

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Yellow: “Individuals should use caution or avoid those areas”; Orange: Conditions are “threatening to the safety of the public.” Red (none yet): Travel restricted to emergency management workers. (Image links to State of Indiana’s travel advisory page.)

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. Continue reading “Indiana governor about “shelter in place” for COVID-19: “We’re not there, yet.””

Holcomb admits allegation that he was elected governor of Indiana, and other insights from court filings in Bloomington annexation lawsuit

In mid-January, Judge Frank Nardi requested an extra courtroom at the Monroe County Circuit Court for a half-day hearing on the afternoon of March 26, for a case filed by the City of Bloomington against the governor of Indiana.

Even though Judge Nardi is not expected to issue a decision from the bench on Tuesday, the hearing is likely to lead eventually to the first ruling on the substance of the case. It was was filed almost two years ago and deals with Bloomington’s annexation efforts.
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The lawsuit stems from a 2017 action by the state’s General Assembly to build into its budget bill a change to state annexation law that effectively singled out Bloomington and paused any annexation plans by the city for five years. The court documents in the case are accessible to the public through MyCase. (Search by case for 53C06-1705-PL-001138. Or download most of the court records in a single compressed file here: City of Bloomington vs. Holcomb.)

Bloomington filed a lawsuit, contending that the General Assembly violated two different parts of the state’s constitution: One limiting bills to single subjects and another prohibiting special legislation.

This article offers a general overview of those constitutional questions and includes a review of some preliminary rulings and points of agreement between the two parties, as well as some of the technical maneuvers that have taken place before the March 26 hearing. Continue reading “Holcomb admits allegation that he was elected governor of Indiana, and other insights from court filings in Bloomington annexation lawsuit”