Holcomb extends public health emergency, even as he looks to end it

Oct 31, 2021
Originally published on October 31, 2021 11:44 am

Gov. Eric Holcomb said he’s exploring ways to end the state’s public health emergency surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s even as he extended the declared emergency for another month, while rescinding some recent executive actions.

Declaring a public health emergency ensures Hoosiers are eligible for federal aid. And it triggers the governor’s ability to issue a broad range of executive orders.

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But Holcomb is dialing back on some of the few orders he has remaining. Gone are directives that require hospitals to report diversion data to the state and consider postponing non-emergent procedures.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said last week Indiana’s statewide hospital census is still at its highest level over the last five years.

Holcomb said, over the next month, he’s asking his team to explore ways for him to no longer extend the public health emergency and end all executive orders in the near future.

Dr. Box warned last week that she’s worried about a winter surge of the coronavirus.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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