A new study will soon begin throughout Indiana to test Hoosiers and give the state a better understanding of the impact COVID-19 has on people. The information will help officials make decisions to re-open aspects of the state.
During the update today (April 23), Gov. Eric Holcomb and his staff said this study will include testing people across all demographics.
Hoosiers, selected at random, will receive a notification in the mail, followed by a phone call, to find out if they want to participate. Only the 5,000 people randomly selected — age 12 and older — can participate at this time. A parent or guardian will have to approve of a test in appropriate cases. While participation in the test is completely voluntary, officials are highly encouraged to support the study to help the state and their local community.
The state will have eight drive-thru sites in the state, including in Dubois and Jefferson counties, at either an Ivy Tech Community College campus or a Walmart parking lot. Mobile sites will visit Harrison and Floyd counties.
These sites will have health care professionals from the Indiana National Guard to take blood tests, which will help find out how much of the population has antibodies, and EMS providers will collect swab samples to test to see if someone tests positive for the coronavirus.
This study is expected to start Saturday and continue until Wednesday, April 29. An additional 15,000 Hoosiers will take part in the test in later weeks during the next several months.
Today, the state reported an additional 612 cases of COVID-19. That means 13,039 Hoosiers are known to have or have had the coronavirus. The state saw an additional 45 deaths, with 706 since the outbreak began. Indiana had 2,594 tests done since the numbers were last reported, bringing that total to 72,040.
Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development Commissioner Fred Payne announced his department’s online systems will begin accepting unemployment claims from workers who usually do not qualify for unemployment benefits, such as workers who are self-employed, independent contractors and gig economy workers.
The system is expected to be taken offline for a few hours tonight to make the needed updates. The department is targeting May 8 for payments to begin, but workers are reminded it will still take the traditional 21 days all claimants see before those benefits arrive.