INDIANA (WFIE) - Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb gave an update on COVID-19.
He announced that schools will be closed until at least May 1, and could be through the end of the year.
He also said any assessment testing has been canceled.
14 News spoke with Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation officials who say they hate to see children missing out on so much classroom activity.
“You feel for students and families," EVSC Chief Communication Officer Jason Woebkenberg said. "This closure, of course, is extremely disruptive to families who have to work. You feel bad for students too because of their missing out on experiences not just being in school and learning obviously but being with their friends extracurricular activities. I think our teachers have done a phenomenal job converting their lessons to virtual instruction, but there’s no replacement for classroom instrutcion.”
Woebkenberg says following spring break, they’ll use a combination of both waiver days and e-learning days.
Holcomb has also signed orders aimed at easing applications for unemployment benefits and delaying the deadline for state income tax payments until July 15.
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Thursday reported 17 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing to 56 the number of Hoosiers diagnosed through ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories.
Two Hoosiers have died.
The new cases involve residents of Howard (3), Lake (1), Marion (8), Owen (1), St. Joseph (2), Tippecanoe (1) and Wayne (1) counties.
Deaconess has confirmed their first positive COVID-19 test result.
The patient was sent for curbside testing at Deaconess Midtown from an outpatient facility in Henderson.
Officials say the patient has been contacted, and is doing well on home quarantine.
They say there are also several negative results.
Both Indiana and Kentucky health departments have been notified.
Governor Holcomb says Indiana small businesses are eligible for financial assistance under a disaster designation by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
This declaration is in response to a formal request Gov. Holcomb submitted with the SBA on Tuesday, seeking assistance through the organization’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak in Indiana.
“Small businesses play a critical role in driving Indiana’s economy forward, with more than 512,000 employing 1.2 million Hoosiers across the state,” Gov. Holcomb said. “These disaster loans will provide much needed financial support to small business owners who are weathering the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.”
Under the program, small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and nonprofits across the state are eligible to apply for low-interest loans up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills incurred during this public health emergency.
The loan interest rates for small businesses and nonprofits are 3.75% and 2.75%, respectively, with terms up to 30 years.
To qualify for disaster loans, applicants must demonstrate credit history, the ability to repay the loan, and proof of physical presence in Indiana and working capital losses.
The Indiana Small Business Development Center, which has 10 regional offices throughout the state, will provide free business advising and application assistance for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.