Local health officials react to new COVID-19 guidelines set in a new executive order

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed an executive order addressing schools and hospitals.

The executive order states that schools that enforce mask requirements, do not have to quarantine students or faculty who are close contacts with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic.

Knox County Health Officer Dr. Alan Stewart said that this decision could promote more masks in schools.

“I initially had some hesitancy,” Stewart said. “But I think that the data is confirming that this is a reasonable thing to do.”

Although Stewart approved of the loosened quarantine restriction, he also stated that parents should still use caution if their child is exposed to COVID-19.

“If they’re really sitting right next to someone who tested positive, if possible, isolate at home and wear the masks diligently at school,” Stewart said.

The executive order also said health care systems can monitor patient capacity and staffing to assess whether non-emergent procedures should be delayed.

Vigo County Health Department Media Coordinator Roni Elder said that this decision is needed as hospitals continue to fill with COVID-19 patients.

“Hospitals are getting very overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients,” Elder said. “So when having to take care of COVID-19 patients they’re not having the staff and the ability to do elective surgeries.”

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