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Businesses prepare for stage 5 of Indiana's reopening plan

Stage 5 starts Saturday
Posted at 5:31 PM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 19:36:24-04

ZIONSVILLE — The fifth and final stage of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s reopening plan is set to start Saturday and business owners say this will be a major change for some and a minor change for others.

In downtown Zionsville, Kent Esra has been anxiously awaiting this phase.

“It takes some of the restraints we’ve had through COVID away,” Esra said.

Esra owns Cobblestone, a restaurant in the heart of the downtown area. He and his wife have been in business for 20 years this October.

“Zionsville is a great community and they have supported us throughout this whole COVID situation,” Esra said.

Thankfully, the eatery is home to a beautiful patio that Esra says has been a lifesaver during all of the restrictions and they’ve adjusted to in prior stages of the reopening plan.

“Our patio has been very busy this spring, summer, fall, we’ve benefited from that,” Esra said.

However, he’s grateful they’ll finally be able to fill the dining room again.

“We will try and fill every table if we can," Ersa said. "If someone wants to social distance, we’ll certainly try to accommodate that but come Saturday all bets are off,” Esra said. “It’s difficult to do the six feet at full capacity.”

Gyms are also able to return to full capacity.

Amanda Barkes says that really doesn’t have a big impact on her establishment. Since Barkes Fitness is a 24-hour gym and people work out at all hours of the day, its rarely even at 20 percent capacity. But one thing will change... the use of water fountains.

“Because now people will be able to refill the bottles,” said Barkes.

Barkes has actually been thriving the past few months. Her gym went from 70 members to nearly 500 when it reopened in May.

She believes the reason is due to people looking for facilities with fewer people.

“I think people were just looking for a smaller facility that made them feel a little more at home,” Barkes said.

Holcomb said the ability to reach this stage is due to numbers tracking in the right direction and people wearing their masks.

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Health officials will continue to stay in contact with leaders in each community and keep updated with any changing data.

“And then make recommendations and collaborate with the local communities on steps they can take if cases start to tick up and make sure we can reverse those,” Holcomb said.