The city of Indianapolis says it has seen a massive increase in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 since the July 4th holiday, especially among young adults, so it is clamping down and modifying orders pertaining to restaurant capacity and social events.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says the infection rate of COVID-19 among young adults is “skyrocketing” in the city.
“Our city’s positivity rate has jumped by nearly 50%. Without a response, that trajectory will undo all the hard work we’ve put in over the last four months,” said Hogsett.
The response includes shutting down all bars, taverns and nightclubs that do not serve food effective Thursday midnight. They will not be allowed to reopen until August 12 at the earliest.
Marion County is also ordering restaurants to close from midnight to 5 a.m. each night. The county is also pushing capacity levels for indoor seating back down to 50%.
Restaurants that operate bars on the premises are banned from seating in the bar area.
“Our latest data clearly shows that transmission is occurring most often indoors, particularly when groups of people gather to socialize. The data also shows that, for the first time, positivity rates are skyrocketing among young adults between the ages of 18 and 30, particularly when those individuals have been congregating in gyms, bars and other indoor venues,” said Hogsett.
According to data released by the Marion County Public Health Department, the number of positive cases in Marion County for people under the age of 40 has climbed from 27% to 55% of all cases from March 30 to July 19.
The health department says 26% of young adults, age 20-39, tested positive from March 30 to April 26. But that positivity rate spiked to 44% from late June to July 19 in Marion county.
“I have no choice but to take aggressive action to protect the people I’m sworn to protect,” said Dr. Virginia Caine, Marion County Public Health director. “Each of us bears the personal and social responsibility to follow public health recommendations.”
The administration is also putting restrictions back in place for tourism, cultural entertainment, and sports venues by modifying the existing order to allow no more than 25% capacity with continued adoption of CDC social distancing guidelines.
“A return to these measures is not what we wanted but public health is our number one priority,” said Hogsett.
School start dates for public schools in Marion County are prohibited from in-person learning before August 5.
“Dr. Caine and I plan to meet with our school system leaders in the coming days, and we fully expect to provide a briefing next week with more definitive guidance as to whether and how in person K through 12 education may reserve may resume, given our current rates of infection.”
For a complete look at the public health order in Marion county, click here.
Marion County Public Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine explains the spike in positive cases of COVID-19 in young adults.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett implores Marion county residents, especially young adults, to take the restrictions to heart.