Businesses from retailers and other sectors either have reopened their doors to the public or are making plans to return soon.
In the days since state officials announced plans to gradually ease restrictions on public activity and for businesses to reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and other organizations across Indiana soon followed with details on steps to return to at least partial activity. Each business and organization also revealed initiatives on heightened cleaning efforts, encouraging patrons and employees to wear facemasks, continued practice of social distancing as well as conducting health screenings of employees before they can begin work.
Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets in Michigan city reopened May 8. The retail center, operated by Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, on its website in recent days displayed a message, “We’re open. Welcome back.”
The outlet mall also had links detailing requirements of store employees as well as patrons before entering any business as well as steps to encourage social distancing.
Southlake Mall in Hobart reopened on May 18. Its website also details operating hours and procedures in place for shoppers and employees.
Nordstrom Rack in the Shops on Main retail center in Schererville on US-41, also home to Whole Foods and Home Goods, announced it will reopen May 21.
Some colleges also have announced a return to on-campus instruction this fall. The University of Saint Francis, which has campuses in Crown Point and Fort Wayne; Ivy Tech Community College, whose Northwest and North Central Indiana locations include East Chicago, Gary, Goshen, La Porte, Michigan City, South Bend and Valparaiso; and the University of Notre Dame all plan to allow students back on campus for its fall semesters.
Porter Regional Hospital, La Porte Hospital and Starke Hospital announced May 11 all sites resumed some routine surgical procedures.
Porter County government workers also are expected to return to work May 26, the day after Memorial Day. Porter County government offices will be open to the public but by appointment only.
As of May 20, the state's website dedicated to the pandemic reported Indiana had a total of 29,274 positive cases since officials began recording them in March. Indiana has had 1,716 virus-related deaths and more than 195,000 people have been tested across the state.