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WHEREAS, the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 ("COVID-19") is a severe respiratory illness that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China;

WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a rapidly spreading virus that is transmitted from human-to-human and results in symptoms ranging from fever, cough, acute respiratory distress, pneumonia, and even death;

WHEREAS, as of the date of this Executive Order, the COVID-19 outbreak has affected more than 60 countries around the world, including the United States;

WHEREAS, on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization ("WHO") declared the COVID-19 outbreak a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern";

WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex M. Azar II, declared a public health emergency for the United States;

WHEREAS, a vaccine or drug is currently not available for COVID-19;

WHEREAS, in response to the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") determined that COVID-19 presents a serious health threat and currently recommends community preparedness and everyday prevention measures be taken by all individuals and families in the United States, including voluntary home isolation when individuals are sick with respiratory symptoms, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and routinely cleaning frequently touched surfaces and objects in order to increase community resilience and readiness for responding to an outbreak;

WHEREAS, preparation for public health hazards such as COVID-19 require coordinated efforts across federal, state, county and local governments, first responders, private organizations, and the entire healthcare infrastructure in Indiana;

WHEREAS, the Indiana State Department of Health ("ISDH") has been actively preparing for the arrival of COVID-19 in our State, including, for example, the following:

(a) creation of a COVID-19 multi-agency coordination committee;

(b) hosting of a state-level advisory group;

(c) activation of a 24/7 call center;

(d) conducting of a hospital readiness survey;

(e) daily collaboration with federal, state, and local partners;

(f) hosting of weekly webinars with local health departments and providers;

(g) launching of a dedicated webpage in order to share important information;

(h) planned outreach to community partners;

(i) working with hospital and healthcare providers across our State to conserve and optimize the use of personal protection equipment; and

(j) preparation of guidance for schools and universities;

WHEREAS, the Governor has authority and power, under Indiana law, to declare and respond to public health emergencies and is doing so for the entire State of Indiana;

WHEREAS, Indiana Code § 10-14-3-1(a) defines disaster as "an occurrence or imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, loss of life or property resulting from any natural phenomenon or human act" including, at (b)(22)(23) respectively, the terms "Epidemic" and "Public Health Emergency";

WHEREAS, Indiana Code § 10-14-3-12(a) provides, in pertinent part, that "[t]he governor shall declare a disaster emergency by executive order or proclamation if the governor determines that a disaster has occurred or that the occurrence or threat of a disaster is imminent";

WHEREAS, Indiana Code § 16-19-3-9 provides that ISDH, which reports to the governor, may "[d]o what is reasonable and necessary for the prevention and suppression of disease"; and

WHEREAS, in light of the above, it is necessary and proper to take action to protect the health and well-being of all Hoosiers by taking all necessary and appropriate preparatory and other measures in response to the threats posed to the public health by COVID-19;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Eric J. Holcomb, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Indiana, do hereby:

1. Declare that a public health disaster emergency exists in Indiana attributable to COVID-19.

2. Designate the ISDH as the lead state agency to coordinate emergency response activities among the various state agencies and local governments. The State Health Commissioner (or designee) shall provide the Office of the Governor regular and timely updates of all relevant data and information with respect to the status of and efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

3. Order all state and local health officials, law enforcement and emergency response agencies, health care providers, and hospitals, in our State to cooperate with the ISDH in its response to the public health disaster emergency and the implementation of this Executive Order.

4. Order the ISDH to continue following the CDC's guidelines and protocols in connection with the control and spread of COVID-19, and to further educate the public on prevention.

5. Authorize the ISDH and any other agency of the State of Indiana to seek and accept any funding or other resources from any entity, governmental or private, to treat, control, and stop the spread of COVID-19.

6. Order the ISDH, in coordination with such other agencies as may be necessary, to coordinate services and use the media and other outreach tools as it deems appropriate to inform the public of the risks associated with COVID-19, prevent the spread of the virus, and availability of testing and treatment options.

7. Order all other executive branch agencies, instrumentalities and personnel of the State of Indiana to assist in the execution of this Executive Order, provided however, that no state agency or person acting in the name of any state agency may spend or make any commitment to spend or obligate any funds that are not appropriated for such purposes.

This Executive Order and declaration of a public health disaster emergency in our State shall by law expire thirty (30) days from the date below, unless extended.

It is so ordered.
  IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I, Eric J. Holcomb, have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Indiana, on this 6th day of March, 2020. 
  Eric J. Holcomb 
  Governor of Indiana 
ATTEST:  Connie Lawson 
  Secretary of State 

Posted: 03/11/2020 by Legislative Services Agency

DIN: 20200311-IR-GOV200091EOA
Composed: Feb 03,2023 3:07:45PM EST
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