Today’s update discusses the first IDOC reported death, new testing sites across the state, and the state’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. Additionally, the update discusses the Disaster Household Distribution program in an effort to provide food for families suffering significant economic loss.

HEALTH

  • The Indiana Department of Corrections reported their first COVID-19-related death this week. A man, over the age of 70, apparently showed no signs of illness until he reported having chest pains and trouble breathing on Monday. The inmate was transported to a local hospital, where he tested positive for COVID-19. Governor Holcomb stated in his press release on Tuesday that he is not considering releasing inmates in response to the virus. For more information, visit https://www.wthr.com/article/indiana-coronavirus-updates-tuesday-april-14-2020.
  • State Health Commissioner, Dr. Kristina Box, stated that over 400 health care workers and first responders were able to get tested at new sites across the state. In fact, starting today, the people who can get tested at these sites will expand to include those who are symptomatic and living in the same home as health care workers or first responders, and those who are symptomatic and have an underlying health condition. For more information, visit https://www.wthr.com/article/indiana-coronavirus-updates-tuesday-april-14-2020.
  • Indiana state health officials have approved long-term care facilities to manage transfer, discharge, or relocation of residents in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the Indiana Health Care Association (“IHCA”) says that state and federal guidelines are pushing facilities like these to split their locations, if possible, into three separate spaces: one space for confirmed negative patients, one space for confirmed positive cases, and one space for people showing symptoms but not yet tested. However, the IHCA also understands that the ability to do this depends on space and the availability of personal protective equipment. For more information, visit https://fox59.com/news/indiana-long-term-care-facilities-can-now-transfer-relocate-residents-to-reduce-covid-19-risk/.

 RESOURCE ALLOCATION

  • The Indiana State Department of Health (“ISDH”), in a press release this week, announced the Disaster Household Distribution program, which is geared toward providing more access to food banks and pantries through the crisis. This program will use over 200 new and existing mobile pantries to distribute food. According to the ISDH, families can receive one prepackaged 25-pound box that includes canned and packaged fruits, vegetables, soups, sauces, noodles, beans, nuts, juices, and meats. The program will prioritize families who are currently suffering significant economic losses, and will be in effect through May 14. For more information, https://www.indystar.com/story/news/health/2020/04/15/coronavirus-updates-latest-news-covid-19-indianapolis-central-indiana/2977796001/.

HeplerBroom attorney Emilee M. Bramstedt contributed to this blog post.