Chesterton Tribune



More Indiana stores reopen as some virus restrictions ease

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Shoppers trickled into some large Indiana shopping malls on Monday as they opened for the first time in more than a month under a new order from the governor easing many restrictions imposed to slow the coronavirus spread.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb defended his decision announced Friday allowing more manufacturers and retailers to open their doors in most of the state with the of allowing nearly all activities to resume on July 4.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dr. Woody Myers, a former state health commissioner, called the steps premature with the state still not providing enough COVID-19 infection testing.

Holcomb said he believed it was important to give residents a long-term look at the state’s reopening plan. He said the establishing stages for reopening businesses and activities in stages will depend on Indiana’s number of coronavirus illnesses not suddenly jumping and putting pressure on the hospital system. “We’re in a position where we can accommodate that right now,” Holcomb said. “What we don’t want to do is opening it up all at once and then be rushed and then find ourselves playing catch up and dialing it back.”

Crowds in the dozens waited for mall reopenings Monday in suburban Indianapolis and South Bend. Many stores in those malls did not immediately open.

Tammy Lubelski said she had been looking forward to returning to University Park Mall in Mishawaka but did have health concerns since she’s had brain surgery.

“Because I am at high risk, I do worry,” she told the South Bend Tribune.

“And I saw a couple of people in the line not wearing masks, so that makes me worried.”

Updated statistics released by the Indiana State Department of Health also added 160 deaths among nursing home residents to the previous statewide total released a week earlier.

The new tallies show 420 COVID-19 nursing home resident deaths, or about 36% of the 1,151 total statewide deaths. The statistics, however, don’t specify when the newly reported nursing home deaths occurred.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and state health officials have refused to identify nursing homes with outbreaks, despite complaints from relatives of home residents about a lack of communication about illnesses and deaths.

State officials maintain those facilities face federal and state requirements to notify the families about their COVID-19 status.

Almost 75% of Indiana’s deaths have been among people ages 70 and older as elderly people and those with serious health troubles living in nursing homes are among the most at-risk from COVID-19 infections.



Posted 5/5/2020




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