Gov. Eric J. Holcomb on May 1 announced a five-stage plan to fully reopen Indiana’s economy by July 4 while still mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
The Back On Track Indiana plan is guided by four 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.
“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,” Holcomb said. “Hoosiers have done this together and together we will come out a stronger Indiana.”
If the principles aren’t met, all or parts of the state may delay moving forward through the five stages of the plan or return to an earlier phase of the governor’s stay-at-home order. Local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines.
Back on Track Indiana has five stages. Stage 2 begins May 4 for all counties except Cass, Lake and Marion counties. Stage 2 for those counties may begin May 11 for Lake and Marion counties. Mayor Joe Hogsett recently extended Marion County’s stay-at-home order until May 15. For Cass County, Stage 2 can begin May 18.
“I want to thank Governor Holcomb, Dr. Box, and our partners at the State of Indiana for their work to provide today’s set of policy recommendations,” Hogsett said. “I am particularly appreciative that this statewide strategy will continue to allow counties to address the unique challenges faced by densely populated areas such as Indianapolis.
“In the coming days, Marion County public health leaders will analyze this phased approach to assess how it can be implemented in Indianapolis. It is my intention to provide additional guidance to residents and businesses next week as to how we can begin to work our way through these phases.”
During Stage 2:
- Those 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. Social gatherings of up to 25 people will be permitted following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) social distancing guidelines.
- The remaining manufacturers, industrial and other infrastructure operations that weren’t considered essential may open. Those who can work from home are encouraged to continue to do so.
- Retail and commercial businesses may open at 50% capacity. Examples of those businesses 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 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.
- Indoor worship services may begin May 8 but must follow specific social distancing guidelines — while those 65 and older and those at elevated risk will be asked to stay home.
If Indiana successfully moves through Stage 2, then Stage 3 can begin. For more information on the stages to move forward and to read the full plan, visit BackOnTrack.in.gov.
The Governor will sign executive orders implementing the plan. The executive orders will be posted at this link: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm
Click here to read the Governor’s remarks from today: https://bit.ly/35yEaLD
The Critical Industries Hotline continues to be available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday to respond to business and industry questions about whether a business is considered essential. The center may be reached by calling 877-820-0890 or by emailing email@example.com
Answers to frequently asked questions and instructions to file for COVID-19-related unemployment are available at Unemployment.IN.gov.
More information may be found at the ISDH website at coronavirus.in.gov and the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.