The state of Indiana, with a few exceptions, will Friday morning enter stage three of Governor Eric Holcomb’s five-stage Back on Track plan. The move will allow for gatherings of up to 100 people, as well as allowing retail stores and malls to operate with 75% customer capacity.
However, restaurants will remain at 50% capacity for dine-in service.
“We’ve earned the ability to continue to move forward because people have been, for the most part, been paying attention to wearing masks, social distancing, those things that really make a difference,” said Holcomb during a media briefing Wednesday.
The governor said he will sign an executive order Thursday moving the state into the next phase of recovery. The order excludes Marion, Lake, and Cass counties which have been allowed to reopen businesses at a delayed pace due to the high number of positive cases of COVID-19.
“They will be able to enter stage three on June 1, but as I’ve said all along it will ultimately rest on local control,” said Holcomb.
Holcomb said moving into the next phase is prefaced on the state’s ability to keep the number of COVID-19 patients at a manageable level as to not overwhelm Indiana’s healthcare system as well as maintain necessary levels of personal protective equipment for first-line responders.
Stage three also allows for gyms, YMCAs, and fitness centers to reopen with some restrictions. Holcomb’s order will also allow community pools and campgrounds to open.
“The data makes us very confident,” said Dr. Kristina Box, Indiana State Department of Health commissioner, when asked why the state feels confident moving into the next stage of recovery. “Hoosiers have done an amazing job with non-pharmaceutical interventions. That’s what you’ve been doing with social distancing, wearing masks, and washing your hands.”
Box said she has a little more concern going from stage three to stage four, which is tentatively scheduled for June 14.
“But we’ll be watching the data on a daily basis. Just as we have been,” Box said.
Holcomb said his executive order will also include an extension of prohibiting the shutoff of utilities for non-payment, and for filing evictions and foreclosures on residential properties.
View today’s media briefing in the video below: