Local health officials say they are pleased Gov. Eric Holcomb extended Indiana’s stay-at-home order until May 1 because of an increase in local COVID-19 cases.

“We are glad he is extending the stay at home orders until May 1,” said Dr. David Jetmore, who is Wayne County’s health officer. “In Wayne County we have seen the greatest increase of cases over the past weekend.”

Wayne County was notified of five new cases from Friday evening to Monday morning.

However, Holcomb did allow for hospitals to resume elective procedures to begin Tuesday, April 21, and has allowed nurseries, greenhouses, and dog groomers to conduct business.

Health officials say it will be important for those businesses to enact protocols to protect their workers and the public as they reopen.

“One of the most important things we can all do is to wear a mask when in public,” said Christine Stinson, executive director of Wayne County Health Department.

Wayne County Health Department will be watching several factors this week to determine if officials will lift local directives.

They have contacted funeral homes in Wayne County to further restrict the number of mourners at a graveside service.

“As long as we continue to see the hospital have a decrease in numbers of cases being admitted to the hospital, we feel that would be a directive that we could lift,” Jetmore said.

As the state and the county are now able to offer more testing, there will be a natural increase in numbers of cases.

“I do expect to see some aspects of Indiana and Wayne County begin to open in May, when remains to be seen,” Stinson said. “As industries are allowed to resume business, I would assume it will come with some guidelines they must follow.”

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