Governor announces next stage to safely reopen Indiana

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SOURCE: News release from Office of Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb

INDIANAPOLIS — Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced that because health indicators remain positive, most of the state will advance to stage 3 of the Back On Track Indiana plan on Friday, May 22.

Indiana Back On Track has five stages. For Cass, Lake and Marion counties – which started Stage 2 after other counties, stage 3 may begin on June 1. Local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines.

“We continue to remain vigilant about protecting Hoosiers’ health while taking responsible steps to further open our state’s economy,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Moving to stage 3 is possible because Hoosiers across the state have worked together and made sacrifices to slow the spread.”

Gov. Holcomb has used data to drive decisions since the state’s first case of the novel coronavirus in early March and he will continue to do so as the state contemplates a sector-by-sector reset. The state will move to reopen while continuing to monitor and respond to these four guiding principles:

–          The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide has decreased for 14 days

–          The state retains its surge capacity for critical care beds and ventilators

–          The state retains its ability to test all Hoosiers who are COVID-19 symptomatic as well as health care workers, first responders, and frontline employees

–          Health officials have systems in place to contact all individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and expand contact tracing

As the state lifts restrictions and more people return to work, visit a store or restaurant, and participate in more activities, the number of COVID-19 cases will increase. If these principles cannot be met, all or portions of the state may need to pause on moving forward or may need to return to an earlier phase of the governor’s stay-at-home order.

In Stage 3, Hoosiers 65 and over and those with high-risk health conditions – who are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus – should remain at home as much as possible. Face coverings in public places are recommended. Hoosiers who can work from home are encouraged to continue to do so.

Social gatherings of up to 100 people will be permitted following the CDC’s social distancing guidelines.

Retail and commercial businesses may open at 75% capacity. Shopping malls can open at 75% capacity with indoor common areas restricted to 50% capacity.

Gyms, fitness centers, yoga studios, martial arts studios, and similar facilities may open with restrictions. Class sizes should be limited. Equipment must be spaced to accommodate social distancing and cleaned after each use. No contact activities are permitted.

Community pools may open according to CDC guidance. Community tennis and basketball courts, soccer and baseball fields, YMCA programs, and similar facilities may open with social gathering and social distancing guidelines in place.

Community recreational youth and adult sports leagues may resume practices and conditioning while adhering to social gathering and social distancing guidelines. Contact sports, such as lacrosse and football, are prohibited, but conditioning and non-contact drills may take place.

Youth summer day camps may open on June 1.

Raceways may open with restrictions and no spectators.

Campgrounds may open restrictions, including social distancing and sanitation precautions. State park inns will reopen.

Restaurants and bars with restaurant services may continue to operate at 50% capacity, but bar seating must remain closed. Personal services such as hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors may continue to be open by appointment only and must follow social distancing guidelines.

Movie theaters and playgrounds, which had been projected to open in stage 3, will remain closed. Movie theaters are now projected to open along with other entertainment facilities and venues during stage 4. Playgrounds are to be determined.

If health indicators remain positive, the state will move to stage 4 in mid-June. To learn more about the different stages and the associated dates to get a better understanding about where we’re going as a state, click here to see the full plan: BackOnTrack.in.gov

The Governor has signed an executive order implementing stage 3 of the Back on Track Indiana roadmap. The executive order can be found here: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm

The Critical Industries Hotline continues to be available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday to respond to business and industry questions about whether a business is considered essential. The center may be reached by calling 877-820-0890 or by emailing covidresponse@iedc.in.gov

Answers to frequently asked questions and instructions to file for COVID-19-related unemployment are available at Unemployment.IN.gov.

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.