Holcomb: Offenders making masks, other protection against COVID-19; state taking other steps
INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb today announced offenders at the Miami Correctional Facility are producing face masks, personal protection gowns, face shields and hand sanitizer to be used in the fight against COVID-19.
“I’m pleased to have the Department of Correction joining the ranks of Hoosier businesses, large and small, stepping forward in the fight against COVID-19. Production of these items will lessen the strain on the supply chain, leaving more of these products available for Hoosiers,” Holcomb said in a statement.
After the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Indiana, the Department of Correction changed the mission of Indiana Correctional Industry’s (ICI) production lines at Miami Correctional Facility from offender uniforms to the production of protective equipment. This week, ICI stood up two production lines that are producing 200 protection gowns and 200 masks per day. Additionally, the shop is currently in production of 650 12-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer.
The Department of Correction plans to repurpose another production line at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility to expand the production of protective equipment.
The personal protective equipment (PPE) being made by offenders will be used by first responders and in Department of Correction facilities to allow traditional PPE to remain available for health care workers.
Holcomb outlined these additional efforts from INDOT and the National Guard:
• Traffic on state roads, highways and interstates is down significantly as a result of many Hoosiers honoring the Stay-At-Home Order.
o To speed up deliveries to retailers, commercial trucks hauling products essential to COVID-19 response are eligible for an emergency overweight vehicle permit. This permit will allow trucks to operate in the state at 90,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight rather than 80,000 lbs. through at least April 13. Trucking companies and drivers needing this permit should call 317-615-7320.
• Highway maintenance is ongoing, and construction season will begin on time. Move over, slow down, and pay attention if you must be on the roads for essential travel to help keep our employees and contractors safe.
• The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), in partnership with the state’s food banks, the Indy Hunger Network and Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, has developed a statewide, interactive map that will help Hoosiers seeking food assistance find what they need. Click here to see the map: https://www.in.gov/fssa/dfr/5768.htm
o There are two types of organizations shown on the map: food pantries and meal sites. Food pantries are locations where Hoosiers can pick up groceries to prepare and use at their homes. Meal sites serve packed meals, ready to take home and eat.
• The Indiana National Guard is being deployed to six food banks across the state to help sort and pack food for distribution to food pantries.
o The food banks are in Marion County (2), Bloomington, Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Merrillville.
o The Indiana National Guard will also work at mobile food distribution sites across the state.
Click here to download public service announcements (PSAs) recorded by the state for your use: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/egf210ognxxyx4h/AADYd7E-tBn7P6gtiLSZUiVBa?dl=0
More information may be found at the ISDH website at coronavirus.in.gov and the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.