Carmel mayor declares local disaster emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 11:12 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 21:01:57-04

CARMEL — Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard signed a new order Wednesday and declared a local disaster emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order calls for an end to unnecessary travel, closure of all public playgrounds, and advises local workout facilities to close, according to a press release from the city. Banks can remain open, but only with ATM and drive-thru services.

A travel watch has been issued for the corporate limits of the city, according to the release. This means only essential travel for things like medical care, providing care to someone else, mandatory employment activities, getting things like gas and food, delivering food to people or stores, driving when you don't leave your car, and utility and emergency services, is permitted.

Those who are traveling to donate blood can, according to a press release from the city released on Thursday.

The following line was added to the emergency order to provide clarification:
“All persons utilizing a public trail or multi-use path, or visiting a public park, are permitted to travel to and from these facilities and to exit their vehicles in order to make use of them, provided that proper “social distancing” protocols are followed when doing so.”

Brainard also ordered the closure of Brookshire Golf Club except for those who are walking the course, according to the release. The city's Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Site on Range Line Road has also been closed.

The order went into effect at 7 p.m. Wednesday and is in effect until further notice, according to the release.

“I realize that the steps we are taking are difficult for local business owners and residents, but we must act quickly and we must act now to prevent the further spread of this deadly virus that has brought much pain and death to China and European countries and is threatening to do the same here in the United States of America,” Brainard said in the press release. “The pain we are experiencing today is nowhere near the pain we will most certainly experience if we sit back and do nothing. I urge all Carmel residents to join me in fighting this virus.”

The list of following items are included in the new order, according to the release:

  • A “Watch” travel advisory for the declared emergency is in effect within the corporate limits of the City of Carmel. Under this advisory, only essential travel is permitted and all non-essential travel should be avoided. This advisory does not affect travel in Carmel for the following purposes: (1) travel relating to medical care or diagnostic testing for oneself or another; (2) travel required to provide care to another for whom the traveler is a primary caregiver; (3) travel for mandatory employment activities; (4) travel required to obtain fuel, food, groceries, medication, or essential household goods and personal hygiene products; (5) travel relating to food delivery or to the resupply of retail stores, pharmacies, or food pantries; (6) travel for recreational purposes where the driver and passengers do not leave the vehicle; or, (7) travel by individuals engaged in employment needed to restore utility service or provide any other emergency public service.
  • All employers within the City of Carmel are strongly encouraged to allow for teleworking arrangements to the maximum extent possible to minimize the amount of mandatory work travel.
  • All businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations located within the City of Carmel should implement their emergency action plans.
  • All public playgrounds located within the City of Carmel shall be closed. All trails and multi-use paths shall remain open and walking or bicycling thereon, as well as in public parks, is both permitted and encouraged.
  • All gyms and workout facilities located within the City of Carmel should offer only individual “one trainer-one guest” sessions.
  • All banks, credit unions, and investment services located within the City of Carmel should offer only drive-up, ATM, or “one financial advisor-one client” sessions.
  • All hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers located within the City of Carmel should postpone all elective and non-emergency surgical procedures in accordance with and subject to Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-04.
  • All retail businesses located within the City of Carmel whose facilities have drive-up capabilities should require customers to use this drive-up service only.
  • All bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other establishments that provide in-dining services within the City of Carmel must close their operations to in-person patrons and provide drive-thru, take-out, and delivery services only, in accordance with and subject to Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-04.

You can view more information from the city on its COVID-19 response and view a list of restaurants offering carry out and delivery here.

The following video message from Brainard was posted online Wednesday evening: