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Holcomb: Indiana laying groundwork to reopen the economy gradually in May

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Posted at 5:52 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 20:18:17-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said he can’t commit to reopening his state's economy on May 1, as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine did Thursday afternoon, but said he’s looking at a similar time frame.

“I just talked to (DeWine) earlier today,” Holcomb said in his own afternoon briefing. “We’re both thinking about May. I’m not being date specific.”

RELATED: 'New phase' of COVID-19 response, including gradually reopening Ohio, to begin May 1

Holcomb said he wants to see coronavirus numbers and trends continue to hold in Indiana and wants to make sure that the capacity for caring for patients continues to stay steady or even improve.

“I’m not putting a May 1 date out there or May 2 or May 7 or 8,” Holcomb said. “But we are thinking early May.”

Holcomb said he’s already laying the groundwork for a very gradual, incremental reopening of the state’s economy.

He said not to expect anything like "flipping on a light switch" where everything is immediately back to normal.

“We didn’t arrive here overnight; we’re not going to get out of the woods overnight,” Holcomb said.

Part of the plan for getting the economy back up and running, Holcomb said, is asking major associations that represent businesses across the state for recommendations by April 22. He wants specifics from retailers, manufacturers, the construction industry, tourism, Realtors and more about changes they’ll make in the workplace.

Holcomb said these modifications are key to employees feeling confident that their workplace is a safe place to go back to.

He also commented on the multi-state agreement Indiana entered into with six other Midwestern states, including Ohio and Kentucky, to reopen their economies.

He said he and the other governors signed the agreement to make sure that they were all informed about the actions their neighbors were taking.

“We’re all thinking about that smart restart opening of our states in a very gradual and methodical way if the numbers continue to hold, if the trends continue to hold.” Holcomb said.