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On the coronavirus rollercoaster in Indiana and Washington, D.C.

Contributed By:The 411 News

Reality checks from Indiana Governor Holcomb; President Trump aims to open country in weeks

Monday morning, Indiana heard Governor Holcomb issue a mandatory stay-at-home order in response to the spread of the coronavirus. The order also affects state government offices, and provisions for establishments offering dining services and alcohol sales.

The stay-at-home order takes effect Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59pm ET, remaining in effect until Monday, April 6 at 11:59pm.

“The next two weeks are critical if we are to slow the spread of COVID-19, and we must slow the spread. You must be part of the solution, not the problem,” Gov. Holcomb said.

All state government offices will be closed to in-person public activity during the next two weeks, until April 7.

The governor ordered an automatic extension of all state-issued licenses. “I will advise law enforcement to refrain from issuing citations for a driver’s license or registration that expires during this emergency.”

Governor Holcomb added enforcement restrictions on restaurants and bars. On March 16, he ordered restaurants and bars to halt in-house food service; to use delivery and takeout only. He said some have ignored the order. Now, fines and license revocations will be issued by local health departments and the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.

The order did relax restrictions on the sale of carryout alcoholic beverages for dining establishments. It includes establishments that allow for on-premise consumption only and those that have carryout permits based on a percentage of on-premise sales.

During the public health emergency, the on-premise businesses will be allowed to sell carryout alcohol. And those that have carryout permits will not have to meet the percentage-of-sales amount that the carryout permit required.

Monday afternoon, President Trump said he intends to open the country in weeks, not months

“I'm not looking at months, I can tell you right now," Trump said Monday, when asked about easing federal recommendations urging Americans to limit social contact and stay home. He said states with large case loads could continue to enforce stricter measures, while other parts of the country return to work.

With indicators showing steep declines in the economy, especially with businesses shut down and job losses, Trump said he expects those indicators to show a sharp jump, “like in the shape of a V.”

Ten days ago, on March 13, the president’s emergency declaration order addressed the rising spread of the coronavirus. Trump added Europe to a 30-day travel ban. COVID-19 cases topped 1,700 across the U.S., where thousands of schools have been closed, concerts and sporting events canceled and Broadway theaters shut down. Today, the count is over 33,000.

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator shared the podium with Trump. She said the administration is now making decisions on where the virus has had the most impact. “We’re looking at data, not perceptions.” That’s where the federal response will focus, she said. Their response will focus in the states of California, Washington, and New York where the infections are highest.

President Trump said the cure seems worse than the illness. “If you listen to the doctors … shut it down for a few years, we can’t do that.”

“We can’t turn off 160 million jobs, the most in the nation’s history. It could take years and years to recover,” Trump said.

More decisions will be made at the end of the current 15-day period of recommended closures. “We will let the governors decide what to do in each state,” President Trump said.

Story Posted:03/23/2020

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