INDIANA (WLS) -- Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has issued a stay-at-home order for all residents in the state to combat the spread of COVID-19.
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The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday and will end at 11:59 p.m. ET on April 6.
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The order is mandatory, but allows for people to leave in order to go on essential business or work, including getting take-out food at restaurants, getting groceries, seeking medical care, or to taking care of others or to work in an essential business. A list of essential businesses is available on the state's website
"I'm setting the example by sending state government personnel home to work to the maximum extent possible and closing our facilities to public interaction beginning Tuesday, for at least the next two weeks," said Gov. Holcomb.
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Even before Indiana's stay-at-home order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, much of the state is already closed for business.
In Crown Point, City Hall is closed and so are most businesses downtown. "This too shall pass" read the sign outside the popular Sip Coffee House, now open only for takeout and delivery and still trying to keep its 22 employees afloat.
"We're rotating," said Rhonda Black, owner of Sip Coffee House. "One day one, one day the next one. And then we rotate all the way down into the next week. So it helps everyone a little bit."
On March 6, Indiana had just one case of COVID-19. As of Monday, there are at least 259. It is that dramatic rise that weighed heavily on Gov. Holcomb's decision to join other states in issuing a stay-at-home order which will remain in effect through April 6.
"Stay at home," Gov. Holcomb said. "Unless you're going on an essential errand, essential work, essential business."
Like stay-at-home orders elsewhere, Hoosiers can still leave the house to go to the grocery store or pharmacy. Laundromats remain open. Public transport will continue to operate. Residents can go outside for exercise or to walk their dogs. Any non-essential businesses however must close after Monday, including much of state government.
"Get groceries only when you need them, and only buy what you need," Gov. Holcomb said. "I'm telling you the next two weeks are critical - that's March 24 through April 7 - if we're going to slow the spread."
A hotline has been established for residents with questions about the stay-at-home order: (877) 820-0890. It opens on Tuesday at 9 a.m.
Coronavirus Indiana: Stay-at-home order issued by Governor Eric Holcomb