WhatsApp WhatsApp Google+ Facebook Twitter Twitter Pinterest By Jon Zimney – December 6, 2020 2 195 Governpr Holcomb pleased to see local officials step up virus control Facebook CoronavirusIndianaLocal Google+ Pinterest Previous articleSBU Prof: Streaming services are the future of TVNext articleLaPorte man, 57, arrested after suspected OWI fueled crash on State Road 2 Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. (Photo supplied/State Of Indiana) Indiana’s efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic are increasingly happening at the local level.The state has stepped up efforts to bring the virus under control at nursing homes. Governor Holcomb began deploying National Guard troops last month to help with routine tasks to take the pressure off overburdened staff, and the health department is increasing infection control training for long-term care staffers.The age and health conditions of nursing home residents put them more at risk for serious illness or death if they contract COVID-19. Nursing homes represent just over half Indiana’s deaths from the virus. That proportion had hovered around 60-percent for months, but has been gradually declining over the last six weeks or so as deaths elsewhere climb.Holcomb says he wants to stay away from a blanket policy for the state. The most recent executive order links state-mandated gathering limits to the color-coded COVID risk scores calculated weekly by the Indiana State Department of Health. Holcomb says he and health department leaders are conferring with mayors, county commissioners, and the Association of Indiana Municipalities about taking the lead on getting the word out about the importance of masks and other precautions, with the state offering assistance where it’s needed.Indiana received 300-million dollars in federal money for local health costs in the pandemic relief bill which passed in March. Governor Holcomb says the last 60-million will go out this month. He says he’s been on the phone this week with Indiana Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun about getting more flexibility in how and when to spend both that money and any additional relief Congress may pass. The governor says cities and counties will need to pour money into testing and contact tracing at least through next summer.