Gov. Holcomb quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19

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Governor Eric J. Holcomb

Crusader Staff Report

Governor Eric Holcomb and first lady Janet Holcomb on Tuesday, November 17 were placed under quarantine after several members of the governor’s security detail tested positive for COVID-19.

Holcomb and the first lady are considered close contacts and will be tested later this week, according to the governor’s office.

The Indiana State Department of Health will perform the contact tracing for the Governor, first lady and the security detail.

Officials in Holcomb’s office said Indiana State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box advised him and his wife to quarantine.

Holcomb on Monday attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Huntington University for the school’s new animal science education center. A photo from the event shows Holcomb socially-distanced on a stage with at least eight other people.

This is not the first time Holcomb has had to be tested for COVID-19. Holcomb in October tested negative for the virus after Dr. Box announced she had tested positive.

Indiana just recently rolled back its reopening, adding new recommendations for counties seeing high rates of the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, the state reported 5,541 new cases for a total of 262,207 statewide.

This week, governors from across the Midwest, along with Kentucky, together on video issued a warning about traveling during the holiday season.

Holcomb joined Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers in a social media video to encourage everyone across the region to remain safe over the holidays.

“As we head into the holiday season and the cold winter months we wanted to take a moment to talk to our families in our region about how you can protect your loved ones and our front line workers, as well as our small business owners, from COVID-19 and the pandemic,” Whitmer explains in the video.

The governors praised the progress of Moderna and Pfizer’s developing a vaccine but cautioned against letting up on combating the virus.

‘This is great news, but it doesn’t mean that we can let our guard down and loosen the safety measures that we’ve made in our daily lives,” said Pritzker.

As COVID-19 cases climb in several states, elected officials are bringing back some restrictions to help slow the spread of the virus.

In Michigan, Governor Whitmer’s administration on November 15 stopped in-person classes in high schools and colleges, closed restaurants to indoor dining and suspended organized sports to curb the state’s spiking coronavirus cases.

The restrictions began Wednesday, November 18 and will last three weeks. Last spring, Whitmer imposed a stay-at-home order that was more extensive.

In Illinois, the state’s COVID-19 numbers grew closer to 600,000 and The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 12,601 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases Tuesday, as well as 97 additional coronavirus-related deaths.

Governor Andy Beshear says he’ll likely issue new restrictions Wednesday. But he also said they would be targeted and look different than earlier restrictions.

On Monday, Minnesota health officials reported an additional 7,444 positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 231,018, including roughly 24,000 in the last three days. Another 12 people died from the virus, bringing the death toll to 2,917 since the pandemic began.

Governor Tim Walz warned that positive cases in the pipeline would end up putting Minnesota hospitals under even more strain in coming weeks. He said more restrictions will likely be announced this week, including possible changes to youth winter sports, and he urged Minnesotans to stop politicizing the pandemic and listen to health officials.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced a new curfew, aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus. After hinting at more restrictions last week, the governor introduced his latest measure during his news conference on Tuesday.

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