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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

County health restrictions stay in place; in-person trick-or-treating discouraged

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Marion County health restrictions will stay the same for now, Mayor Joe Hogsett announced during a COVID-19 update Oct. 15.

Here’s what that means:

• Restaurants, bars, night clubs and other food businesses can open at 50% indoor capacity and full outdoor capacity. Bar seating and dance floors are still closed. These venues can also now have live entertainment with a 10-foot buffer between stages and the audience.

• Gyms and fitness centers can open at 50% capacity.

• Museum, entertainment and cultural venues can open at 50% capacity.

• Churches and funeral services can be held indoors at 75% capacity.

• Assisted living facilities can allow indoor visitations.

Hogsett also encouraged residents to avoid face-to-face trick-or-treating, haunted houses and other indoor Halloween gatherings. There isn’t currently an executive order banning trick-or-treating, but the mayor’s administration is following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Neighborhoods can still find ways to do Halloween events such as trick-or-treating while following health guidelines.

Marion County’s positivity rate has hovered around 5% for most of the last month, according to Marion County Public Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine, but some other metrics are beginning to rise.

The number of newly confirmed cases per day has increased since mid-September to a seven-day average is 133.

Emergency room visits and hospital admissions have also crept up to a seven-day average of 25 and 8.4, respectively.

Caine said she would like to monitor those rising numbers for another one or two weeks before deciding if it’s necessary to put more restrictions in place.

Deaths have remained steady. There are usually two or fewer per day.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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