Indiana taking next step to further loosen public restrictions • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine

Indiana taking next step to further loosen public restrictions

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Gov. Eric Holcomb
Gov. Eric Holcomb

State officials announced May 21 Indiana is ready to move to the next phase of further easing of public restrictions as statewide health indicators show improving conditions.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said as health indicators remain positive in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the state will advance to stage 3 of the Back On Track Indiana plan on May 22. The plan has five stages, but for Cass, Lake and Marion counties – which started stage 2 after other counties, stage 3 begins June 1.

Local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines, the state said.

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

State officials have used data to drive decisions since Indiana’s first case of the novel coronavirus was reported in early March. State leaders will continue monitoring data as it contemplates a sector-by-sector reset.

State officials anticipate reported COVID-19 cases will rise, as the state lifts restrictions and more people return to work, visit a store or restaurant, and participate in more activities. If conditions worsen, the state may reinstate stay-at-home orders.

In stage 3 of the state’s plan, 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, the state said.

Stage 3 of the state’s plan include:

  • 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.


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