In a continuing effort to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Eric J. Holcomb has announced additional efforts, including new guidance for child care.
“There is a critical need for child care for those workers who are taking care of others and helping Hoosiers keep food and supplies in their homes. We appreciate all of the efforts Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick and FSSA Secretary Dr. Jen Sullivan and their staffs have worked on jointly to create more child care options for parents,” said Gov. Eric J. Holcomb.
Here are other actions the State of Indiana has taken:
• The Indiana State Department of Education (DOE) and Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) have teamed to encourage school corporations in Indiana to open schools on a limited basis to provide child care services for emergency workers and others who are working to keep communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
o On Friday, FSSA provided new guidance for child care operators who are licensed by the state. Here is the link: https://www.in.gov/fssa/carefinder/5761.htm
o Today, DOE provided similar guidance to school corporations to care for the school age children of essential workers. The guidance provides specific steps for schools to take to open school facilities as well as how to maintain a safe environment. https://www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/news/child-care-recommendation-essential-personnel.pdf
Among precautions for school district officials, the steps include collecting child health records, allowing extra time for deep cleaning, prohibiting staff who are in high-risk categories from providing the care, and keeping groups of students in separate areas of the building.
• The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has spoken to more than 1,000 businesses and economic development agencies in the last five days about ways to continue supporting the state’s economy as well as its front-line COVID-19 pandemic response workers.
o More than 135 companies have been fully vetted as being able to help, including RV and auto manufacturers that are switching lines to help make shields, masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
o Multiple companies – including Subaru, Heritage Group and Summit MMI – have come together to donate thousands of PPE. Restaurants and companies have donated thousands of gloves.
• Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced Community Development Block Grant funds may be redirected to assist with COVID-19 needs based on guidance from the United States Housing and Urban Development. This program could help fund projects such as mobile testing areas or economic assistance packages for small businesses.
More information may be found at the ISDH website at in.gov/coronavirus/ and the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.