Indiana

Scottie Edwards died of COVID-19 just weeks before he would have gotten out of the Westville Correctional Facility in Indiana.

Edwards, 73, began showing symptoms of the disease in early April, according to the accounts of three inmates who lived with him in a dormitory. He was short of breath, had chest pain, and could barely talk. He was also dizzy, sweaty and throwing up.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

It's been 50 years since the first Earth Day, a day set aside to recognize and support environmental protection. Tri-State groups are encouraging people to get outside - safely - and celebrate.

This post was updated at 1:05 pm on 4/13/20 to include new infections reported by the state. 

On Monday, April 6, an inmate at Indiana’s Plainfield Correctional Facility stayed up late. From his bunk, he composed two messages. In the first, he told his son that he loves him, that he’s proud of him. 

In the second message, he told his wife he was scared. “I can tell you right now, with nearly 100% certainty, that I am going to get this virus,” he wrote. The man’s wife says he suffers from lung disease, which could increase the chances of complications from COVID-19. 

In Indiana, restaurants and bars are shuttered, schools are closed, and like much of the country, people are being ordered to stay home.

The Indiana Historical Society is trying to document what it's like to live in this time, and have asked the public to help.

"We thought, this is a period of time people are going to study for centuries," says Jody Blankenship, president of the Indiana Historical Society. "And we need to collect the voices of our community right now."

Updated at 12:50 p.m.

Auto giant General Motors will build 30,000 medical ventilators for the national stockpile, at a cost of $489.4 million, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.

walnut street in lawrenceburg indiana
Wikimedia Commons

Cincinnati Edition checks in with Lawrenceburg, Ind., Mayor Kelly Moullaun about how the city, local business and residents are doing during the coronavirus pandemic.

unemployment
Pixabay

With record numbers of workers in the Tri-State suddenly unemployed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers wonder how to support and protect their workers. Meanwhile, many residents may find themselves seeking unemployment benefits in a crowded and overwhelmed system. New unemployment and small business relief is becoming available via a federal coronavirus relief bill.

Last week, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and state Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box declined to provide numbers of ICU beds and ventilators to media outlets requesting them. On Monday, that abruptly changed.

Updated 3/26/2020 5:09 pm

Ventilators are among the most important equipment hospitals need to treat a surge of COVID-19 patients. Companies such as General Motors are gearing up emergency production of the machines, which take over the labor of breathing for a patient with a serious case of the virus. 

great clips coronavirus
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

COVID-19 has put a halt on industries forcing Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky businesses to change how they operate and, in some cases, temporarily or permanently close doors. The quick shifts in state and federal mandates is causing many in the Tri-State to need unemployment benefits to get them through the pandemic.

General Motors says it's "exploring the feasibility" of building ventilators for the medical supply company Ventec Life Systems at a GM facility in Kokomo, Ind.

Health officials have warned of a dire ventilator shortage as the coronavirus spreads and the number of COVID-19 cases soars.

Eric Holcomb
Michael Conroy / AP

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has issued a stay-at-home order calling on Indiana residents to stay in their homes unless absolutely necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19. The order begins Wednesday, Mar. 25 and runs through April 7.

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The number of COVID-19 cases locally continues to increase, and that's expected to continue in the coming days.

beshear dewine holcomb
AP

WVXU reporters and its network of member stations are working hard to bring you all the latest information on coronavirus in our region. We will carry presidential and gubernatorial addresses on air and online when possible. 

Centers for Disease and Prevention Control

An increase in patients with mild and moderate respiratory symptoms is increasing the risk of people catching COVID-19 in Dearborn County, Ind.

Eric Holcomb
Michael Conroy / AP

Updated 5:18 p.m.

Health officials have announced the first coronavirus cases in Indiana and Kentucky. 

When President Trump announced Wednesday that Vice President Mike Pence would oversee the government effort to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus, he said the former Indiana governor "has a certain talent for this."

But not everyone agrees.

Pence's public health record, especially while he was governor, is now coming under harsh scrutiny.

Courtesy of Earlham College

Wikipedia is a well-known first stop on the internet when it comes to researching just about anything - except, perhaps, notable women. Not only are 84% to 92% of editors on the site male, but the vast majority of Wikipedia profiles are about men, with fewer than 20% of pages devoted to women.

Five years ago, Indiana experienced one of the nation’s worst HIV outbreaks. Mike Pence was governor then, and he approved a needle exchange to keep the problem from spreading. Now state leaders are debating whether that exchange — and others — can stay open.

Ethan Howard cradled his prized Martin-brand guitar, strumming gently as he sang of happiness he thought he'd never find.

With support from his family and community, the 26-year-old is making his way as a musician after emerging from the hell of addiction, disease and stigma. The former intravenous drug user was among the first of 235 people in the southern Indiana community of Austin, Ind., to be diagnosed in the worst drug-fueled HIV outbreak ever to hit rural America.

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