INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – We now have a clearer idea about how the next few months will shape up in the Hoosier state.
Governor Holcomb says he has used data to drive decisions since Indiana’s first case of the novel coronavirus in early March.
He says he continues to contemplate a sector-by-sector reset. He also sought a renewal of the state’s Public Health Emergency Declaration.
Holcomb laid out a very detailed plan on Friday to reopen the state and said that if we stay on track, Indiana could be open at full capacity by July 4.
(You can read the governor’s full release as well as the response Indiana Senate Democrats below)
However, he said he won’t hesitate to hit the pause button or even go back to a previous phase if the state isn’t able to meet four guidelines:
1. The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide has decreased for 14 days
2. The state retains the ability to test all Hoosiers who are COVID-19 symptomatic, as well as healthcare workers, essential workers, first responders, and others as delineated on the ISDH website
3. The state retains its surge capacity for critical care beds and ventilators
4. Health officials have systems in place to contact all individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and complete contact tracing
“As we lift 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 we cannot meet these principles, all or portions of the state may need to pause on moving forward, or we may return to an earlier stage of the governor’s stay-at-home order, “reads this section of the new website BackonTrack.IN.gov.
Governor Holcomb was also specific to say that local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines.
You can find complete information on the ‘Back on Track’ website, but here are the highlights:
GUIDELINES FOR ALL HOOSIERS
• Hoosiers 65 and over and those with high-risk health conditions should remain at home whenever possible. This is the population that is most vulnerable to the coronavirus
• Recommend that residents wear face coverings in public settings. Residents also should continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene
• Social gatherings of 25 people may take place following the CDC social distancing guidelines. The coronavirus is often spread among groups of people who are in close contact in a confined space for an extended period of time. This limit applies to such events as wedding receptions, birthday parties, Mother’s Day gatherings, and others where people are in close physical contact for extended periods of time
• Essential travel restrictions are lifted; local non-essential travel allowed
• Continue remote work whenever possible
RELIGIOUS SERVICES – MAY 8
• Religious services may convene inside places of worship. There are specific practices that should be considered for in-person services that are driven by social distancing guidelines and protections for those 65 and older and individuals with known high-risk medical conditions.
Examples of services include weddings, funerals, and baptisms. See the Revised Guidance for Places of Worship for more complete details
STAGE 2 MAY BEGIN MAY 4 FOR ALL INDIANA COUNTIES EXCEPT: Cass, Lake, and Marion counties.
STAGE 2 MAY BEGIN ON MAY 11 FOR: Lake and Marion counties.
STAGE 2 MAY BEGIN ON MAY 18 FOR: Cass County.
• Manufacturers, industrial operations, and other infrastructure that has not been in operation may open following OSHA and CDC guidelines. General guidance for these industries may be found in this document
• About half of the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicle branches will open with services by appointment only; the remainder of branches will continue to open over the next two weeks
• Public libraries may open according to their own policies and CDC guidelines
WHAT’S OPEN, WHAT’S CLOSED
• County and local governments will make decisions based on their policies and CDC guidelines
• Retail and commercial businesses, including those that have been open for the necessities of life during previous executive orders, may operate at 50% of capacity.
Examples include apparel, furniture, jewelry, and liquor stores that have been operating as curbside or delivery only
• Shopping malls may open at 50% capacity with indoor common areas at 25% capacity
• Those who work in office settings are encouraged to continue to work remotely whenever possible but may return to offices in small waves
These business sectors may open a week after the start of Stage 2:
• Personal services, such as hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, spas, and tattoo parlors.
By appointment only with operational limitations. Employees must wear face coverings, work stations must be spaced to meet social distancing guidelines, and other requirements must be met. Customers should wear face coverings to the extent possible
• Restaurants and bars that serve food may open at 50% capacity with operational limitations. Bar seating will be closed with no live entertainment. Servers and kitchen staff must wear face coverings
• State government executive branch offices will begin limited public services, and employees will begin to return to offices in small waves
• Boating is permitted, but boaters must follow social distancing guidelines
• Visitors to beaches and shorelines must adhere to the social gathering policy and social distancing guidelines
WHAT REMAINS CLOSED
• Individuals are not allowed to visit patients in assisted living/nursing home facilities
• Bars and nightclubs
• Gyms, fitness centers, community centers, and like facilities
• Cultural, entertainment, sports venues, and tourism
o This includes museums, zoos, festivals, parades, concerts, fairs, sports arenas, movie theaters, bowling alleys, aquariums, theme parks, recreational sports leagues and tournaments, and like facilities
• Playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, amusement parks whether indoors or outside, tourist sites, water parks, and social clubs
• Congregate settings for seniors, adult daycares remain closed through at least May 31
• Casino operations
• Community swimming pools, public and private
• Residential and day camps
• Campgrounds, except for those living permanently in RVs or cabins
K-12 Educational Institutions
• All buildings, facilities, and grounds for K-12 educational institutions, public or private, will remain closed through June 30, 2020, except for the purposes previously allowed in Executive Orders pertaining to this public health emergency.
• Educational institutions (including public and private pre-K-12 schools, colleges, and universities) may be open for purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions provided that social distancing of 6 feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible.
• Educational institutions that were previously closed and are reopening for these purposes must perform enhanced environmental cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, such as workstations, countertops, railings, door handles,
and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. Provide disposable wipes so commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by employees before each use.
• The Indiana Department of Education, in consultation with the Indiana Department of Health, shall develop guidance for graduation ceremonies, including virtual graduation, drive-in ceremonies and in-person ceremonies with the number of participants limited to the number allowed in the governor’s executive order and provided social distancing requirements are met.
What’s Open, What’s Closed?
5 Stages to get Indiana Back On Track. Learn more about the different stages and the associated dates HERE
5 Stages to get Indiana Back on Track
- Stage 1 – Where we are now
- Stage 2 – Where we are going
- Stage 3 – Where we are going
- Stage 4 – Where we are going
- Stage 5 – Where we are going
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM THE GOVERNOR:
INDIANAPOLIS — Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced the Back On Track Indiana plan to safely open the economy and remain vigilant about protecting Hoosiers’ health and wellbeing.
“Across Indiana, we have witnessed a spirit of cooperation and caring for others that has touched my heart. May this spirit of appreciation for one another carry on long after the scourge of COVID-19 is behind us,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Hoosiers have done this together and together we will come out a stronger Indiana.”
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 we lift 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 we cannot meet these principles, all or portions of the state may need to pause on moving forward or we may return to an earlier phase of the governor’s stay-at-home order.
Indiana Back On Track has five stages. Beginning Monday, May 4, nearly all of Indiana will move to stage 2. For three counties – Cass, Lake and Marion counties – stage 2 will begin at a later date. Phase 2 may begin on Monday, May 11 for Lake and Marion counties. Phase 2 may begin on Monday, May 18 for Cass County. Local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines.
In Stage 2 to protect the most vulnerable to COVID-19, Hoosiers 65 and over and those with high-risk health conditions – who are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus – should remain at home.
Essential travel restrictions will be lifted, and social gatherings of up to 25 people will be permitted following the CDC’s social distancing guidelines.
The remaining manufacturers, industrial and other infrastructure operations that had not been considered essential may open. Hoosiers who can work from home are encouraged to continue to do so.
Retail and commercial businesses may open at 50% capacity. Examples include apparel, furniture, jewelry and liquor stores that have been operating as curbside or delivery only. Shopping malls can open at 50% capacity with indoor common areas restricted to 25% capacity.
Restaurants and bars that serve food may open starting May 11 at 50% capacity, but bar seating will remain closed. Personal services such as hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors also may open on May 11 by appointment only and must follow social distancing guidelines.
Starting May 8th, for all of the state’s counties, indoor worship services may also convene, following specific social distancing guidelines – while those 65 and older and those at elevated risk will be asked to stay home.
If health indicators remain positive, the state will move to stage 3. 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
State Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) had the following response to the governor’s announcement:
“While I understand that Hoosiers and businesses are anxious to get back to work, it is extremely important that the reopening of our economy is done with the utmost of caution. As the Governor himself has said, the foremost guide must be safety first.
“After all the sacrifices those of us in Indiana have made, the last thing we want to do is open our economy prematurely and see a new wave of this virus as a result. Indiana is not out of the woods yet with COVID-19, and until Indiana starts to see a decrease in positive tests, it’s too soon to be reopening our state at the pace and in the manner described by the Governor. The key has to be the containment and decrease of the spread of the virus, not just whether we can treat those who continue to fall ill. Just because hospitals have the capacity to treat more patients, doesn’t mean the state should be creating them.
“Governor Holcomb promised to reopen Indiana’s economy slowly and with the guidance of data, science and medical expertise. I’m concerned his plan does not meet those expectations. The state will just start testing every person with symptoms next week. We have no idea how many more positives cases there will be. The CDC suggests a continuing downward trajectory of COVID-like symptoms as well as positive tests before increasing interactions between people. Yet, Indiana has seen an increase in the percentage of positive cases over the last few days.
“I realize the state has signed a contract for contact tracing, but those staff aren’t hired and trained yet. We shouldn’t open until we know where this virus is and where it could head next. Opening large malls, other workplaces and gatherings without that capacity is irresponsible, especially when the enforcement to ensure companies, businesses and Hoosiers are following safety measures is non-existent. We must have an enforcement mechanism, other than verbal warnings, to ensure businesses keep their employees safe. I cannot help but worry that the reopening of the state this widely, this early will likely lead to a resurgence of positive cases. I urge the Governor to re-think this approach and develop a more cautious plan to make sure we avoid any such resurgence.”