INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb Wednesday signed Executive Order 20-30 to extend the public health emergency for an additional 30 days to July 4, according to a press release from the state.

The governor also signed Executive Order 20-31, which allows older youth to remain in foster care beyond the age of 18 during the public health emergency. The order will enable them to continue to receive education, workforce training and health benefits, the release said.

Executive Order 20-31 also extends the time period to renew professional licenses, certificates or permits to June 30.

Because of the current restrictions on in-person dining in restaurants, the executive order reduces the amount of food sales a restaurant must report to maintain its alcoholic beverage permit, according to the release.

Additionally, deadlines for the calculation of local taxes were also extended by the executive order.

SNAP goes online

SNAP recipients in Indiana may now use their Hoosier Works EBT cards to purchase groceries online for pickup or delivery at two approved retailers — Amazon and Walmart.

SNAP participants are automatically eligible to participate in this program and do not need to apply.

“We have been working with our federal partners to remove barriers and provide safety and convenience benefits for Hoosier SNAP recipients — particularly those who are most at risk for COVID-19 infection and those who are homebound,” said Jennifer Sullivan, M.D., M.P.H., FSSA secretary. “We are pleased to make this benefit available for SNAP recipients in Indiana. While this service will initially and immediately address needs caused by the pandemic, we intend to keep this service in place permanently.”

Currently, Amazon and Walmart are the only Indiana retailers that have been approved for online purchasing by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Amazon offers online ordering and delivery of groceries to SNAP recipients. Instructions on how to use this service can be found on the company’s website: www.amazon.com.

Walmart offers online ordering and delivery and pick-up options at some stores, while other stores only allow online ordering and pickup of groceries at a designated spot outside the store. Information on online ordering at Walmart can be found at https://grocery.walmart.com/. Information about delivery of groceries from Walmart can be found at https://www.walmart.com/cp/express_delivery/3696472.

Delivery fees that may apply to the online purchase may not be paid with SNAP benefits. If SNAP recipients have any problems using their card for ordering, they should call the number on the back of their Hoosier Works EBT card for customer service.

SNAP benefits can only be used for food products and for plants and seeds used to grow food. A full list of items that can and cannot be purchased with SNAP is available at https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items

TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits, which are also provided via Hoosier Works EBT card, may not be used for online purchasing. Currently more than 680,000 Hoosiers receive SNAP benefits and nearly 13,000 Hoosiers receive TANF assistance.

Hoosiers may apply for SNAP or TANF at https://fssabenefits.in.gov/. They may also call 1-800-403-0864 for assistance.

Latest data

According to the latest update from the Indiana State Health Department (ISHD), the total number of COVID-19 cases has remained steady for the third consecutive day at 1,592 in Cass County. The number of deaths has remained steady for 10 straight days at seven in Cass County.

The most recent ISHD report shows 440 cases in Howard County, 144 in Miami, 238 in White, 94 in Carroll, 50 in Fulton and 50 in Pulaski.

An additional 452 cases have been confirmed statewide by the ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Cass County Health Department, Memorial Hospital and private laboratories. That brings the statewide total to 36,096 with 2,052 deaths, for a death rate of 5.7 percent.

A total of 285,234 tests have been reported to ISDH to date, up from 277,815 reported on Tuesday with 12.7 percent of those returning positive results.

According to the latest update from the CDC, 1,827,425 cases are now confirmed nationwide. There have been 106,202 deaths reported nationwide for a death rate of 5.8 percent.

As of Thursday morning’s report, the World Health Organization says 6,416,828 people have been infected worldwide with 382,867 deaths reported, for a global death rate of 6.0 percent.

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