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Get the latest on the global Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic as it impacts Northwest Indiana, the state, country, and globe. Bookmark this page as there will be several updates each day from Lakeshore Public Radio, IPB News, NPR, and the Associated Press.

Coronavirus: State To Develop Workplace Standards, Majority Of Pork Processing Halted

Justin Hicks
IPB News

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 72 additional deaths over the weekend, bringing the state’s total to 813. The state announced more than 15,000 total confirmed cases, with more than 81,000 Hoosiers tested.

Indiana Developing Workplace Standards Ahead Of Slow Reopen

Gov. Eric Holcomb says the state is developing workplace standards to protect employees from the spread of the novel coronavirus.

That is all ahead of May 1, when the state plans to start reopening sectors of the economy. 

Before extending the state’s “Stay-At-Home” order, Holcomb asked business associations and industries for feedback on how they could protect workers.

Holcomb says, before the May 1 deadline, those guidelines will be made publicly available.

14 COVID-19 Cases Reported At Crawfordsville Long-Term Care Facility

The Montgomery County Health Department announced Sunday 14 residents of a long-term care facility in Crawfordsville have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the county’s confirmed novel coronavirus case total to 47.

In a statement, the department said 26 residents at Ben Hur Health and Rehabilitation were tested Friday after “multiple fevers” were detected on Thursday. Residents with confirmed cases have been placed in isolation, and family members have been notified. 

Holcomb Reacts To Illinois, Michigan 'Stay-At-Home' Extensions; Indiana May Not Follow Suit

Governor Holcomb says he’s paying attention to what neighboring states are doing with their “Stay-At-Home” orders. But he says it doesn’t mean Indiana will follow suit.

Illinois and Michigan governors announced they will extend their “Stay-At-Home” orders into May. But that includes rolling back some restrictions and adding in new ones. Both states are requiring face masks for people in public spaces that cannot maintain six feet of distance. 

Holcomb says, as the state has done for more than a month, the “Stay-At-Home” order will be re-evaluated every two weeks or so, to adjust to conditions in the state.

You Asked: When Will 'Stay-At-Home' Orders Be Lifted?

States are considering how, and when, to reopen their economies. But the process looks different across the country, and there's a considerable variety even in the Midwest. Side Effects Public Media’s Brittani Howell spoke with Indiana Public Broadcasting’s statehouse reporter Brandon Smith, KBIA health reporter Sebastián Martínez Valdivia and Iowa Public Radio health reporter Natalie Krebs about how their states have reacted so far, and what they might do going forward.

To join the Indiana 2020 Two-Way and ask your questions, text “elections” to 73224. To join the Midwest Checkup, text “health” to 73224.

Indiana Packers To Shutter Delphi Facility, Majority Of State's Pork Processing Now Halted

Another Indiana pork processing facility is closing due to the coronavirus. It’s a move that will place additional pressure on the pork pipeline.

The Indiana Packers Corporation will suspend operations Monday at its Delphi processing facility, according to a letter sent to farmers Friday. It said the move responds to “an increasing number of positive tests of COVID-19 in neighboring communities and reports that Indiana is closing in on the expected peak of infections.”

Currently 15 workers there have confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The action follows a similar decision by Tyson Foods, which closed its Logansport facility last week after more than 100 employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Indiana Coal Company Gets Federal Small Business Loan

An Indiana coal company has received a $10 million federal loan. It’s meant to help small businesses keep their workers employed during the COVID-19 crisis. Environmentalists say that money should have gone elsewhere.

Some have questioned if Hallador Energy should qualify as a small business. Its main subsidiary, Sunrise Coal, calls itself the second-largest coal producer in the state, with about 760 employees. It used to have more than 900 workers, but went through two rounds of layoffs this year — including 60 workers who were laid off due to the closure of the Carlisle mine.

READ MORE: U.S. Sen. Todd Young Says Big Companies Should Return Federal PPP Funding

Wendy Bredhold is with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign in Indiana. She says that money could have gone to other struggling businesses or to those more susceptible to the disease, like health care workers and people of color, who are more likely to die from COVID-19.

“We should be responding to recreate the economy in a way that protects vulnerable people and protects the climate rather than doing kind of the opposite,” Bredhold says.

Virtual Town Hall Highlights Resources For Central Indiana Small Businesses

A virtual town hall Thursday highlighted the Indy Chamber’s efforts to help small businesses in central Indiana during the pandemic. The organization's focus has been on minority-owned businesses that have had harder times receiving federal aid.

READ MORE: Can I Go For A Walk? Here's What The Updated 'Stay-At-Home' Order Really Does

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana 2020 Two-Way. Text "elections" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on COVID-19 and the 2020 election.

LEE MAS: ¿Puedo Salir A Caminar? Esto Es Lo Que Significa Una Orden De Permanecer En Casa

The Indy Chamber has created the Rapid Response Loan Fund for small businesses needing financial aid up to $25,000 and struggling to get any federal aid. Requests have flooded in, with more than 50 percent going to women and minority-owned businesses.

IPS To Offer 'Self-Care' Tips For Parents During Pandemic

Indianapolis Public Schools is offering parents and caregivers support for the “mind, body and soul” during the pandemic. A free 45-minute webinar set for 4 p.m. Monday will focus on what parents can do for their own mental health and to take care of themselves.

IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson says the virtual conference will offer strategies and tips.

“We are all navigating challenging circumstances in uncertain times, and so it is so important that we are doing our best to take care of ourselves,” she said in a https://vimeo.com/411576991" target="_blank">message to families this weekend.

Fort Wayne Coronavirus Supply Drive Faces Growing Need

Staff and volunteers all wearing masks and gloves awaited lines of cars snaking up and down Fairfield Avenue outside the Boys and Girls Club of Fort Wayne Thursday morning.

Lined up behind them on the sidewalk were plastic grocery bags full of necessities--Healthy Habit Packets put together for those who needed them.

The program began on Tuesday, and demand for the assistance surprised Joe Jordan, the president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club. 

“I underestimated it, I didn’t think I’d get this type of response, so we’ve got some more work to do,” Jordan says.

Hundreds Gather In Mishawaka Parking Lot, Police Say It Violates ‘Stay-At-Home’ Order

Mishawaka Police say late Friday night they broke up a large gathering of what they are calling "anti-social distance" cruisers. 

The crowds in hundreds of vehicles were in the parking lot at McKinley between Grape and Hickory. Police say they had to call for backup and barricades. It took them 30 minutes to disperse the crowds. Mishawaka police said the gathering violated the state's "Stay-At-Home” order.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.

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