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An opioid epidemic. High smoking rates. Health care provider shortages. Indiana faces serious public health challenges. Side Effects Public Media provides in-depth coverage of these issues and more.

Hospitals Seek Face Masks, And Other Coronavirus News Friday, March 20

jackmac34 / pixabay CCO
Frequent hand washing and staying home as much as possible remain the most effective measures against COVID-19.

The coronavirusdeath toll in Europe has overtaken China's. Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to send mixed signals: Yesterday, President Trump announced the Food and Drug Administration approved a treatment for COVID-19, shortly after the agency said that was not the case.In the Midwest, case counts continue to rise, as experts say community spread is happening.

Here's the latest from the region:


  • Illinois’ case count is the highest in the Midwest with over 400 COVID-19 cases and three deaths. 
  • Health officials are asking for donationsof face masks, respirators, and other equipment for hospital workers. 


  • On Friday, Gov. Holcomb pushed Indiana's primarly election to May 5 to June 2.
  • In a sweeping list of changes Thursday, Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered all schools closed through May 1, banned utilities from turning off services, and halted evictions and foreclosures. 
  • The state suspended all Healthy Indiana Plan premium payments. 
  • An Indianapolis-area non-profit has created grant relief for artistsduring the outbreak. 





UPDATE: As the case count continues to rise, information on this story is moving quickly and may be out-of-date. We recommend checking theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention for ways to stay safe and this John Hopkins tool for the most recent data.

This story was produced by Side Effects Public Media, a news collaborative covering public health.