ISMA joins Gov. Holcomb in urging caution for holiday gatherings
As the holiday season approaches and COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths continue at a record pace, ISMA is urging Hoosiers to be vigilant against spreading the novel coronavirus and to avoid gathering in person with anyone outside their households.

In cautioning about in-person celebrations, ISMA is following the lead of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, who this week appeared in a social media video with a bipartisan group of governors from six other Midwestern states. In the video, Holcomb, along with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, urges families to work together and take science-based precautions against COVID-19, as well as to limit in-person gatherings.

“Thanks to Governor Holcomb for reminding us that we’re all on the same team – that working together is the only way for Hoosiers to protect our friends, our loved ones and ourselves,” said ISMA President Roberto Darroca, MD.

“Sometimes, though, working together means being apart. To make sure that we can gather in the future, ISMA is asking Hoosier doctors to urge patients to celebrate virtually this holiday season and, if they can’t, to wear face coverings at all times, stay at least 6 feet apart and wash hands often.”

The governors issued a joint statement along with the video.

“For eight months, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated American families everywhere,” the statement said. “To fight this virus, governors across the country have listened to medical experts, stepped up, and worked around the clock to protect our families, the brave men and women on the front lines, and our small business owners. And no matter the action we take, we understand that our fight against COVID-19 will be more effective when we work together.”

“That is why this group of bipartisan governors is joining forces today to urge families across our region, and Americans everywhere, to do their part to protect themselves and their families from the spread of COVID-19. When it comes to fighting this virus, we are all on the same team.”

Since Labor Day, Indiana has seen a 650% increase in new daily cases of COVID-19, and the number of deaths in Indiana attributed to COVID-19 has gone up 322%. Meanwhile, hospitalizations have continued to rise, straining the capacities of health care facilities around the state and leading to a call for more volunteers to relieve exhausted front line workers.