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Just Stay Home: Your top questions about Indy's new restrictions answered

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Posted at 6:30 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 08:57:22-04

INDIANAPOLIS — With both the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana instituting new directives to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Hoosiers are left with a lot of questions.

Here are the top questions and answers about the new restrictions:

Wait, what are these new restrictions?

Under Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett’s executive order, any gatherings of 50 people or more are prohibited. All theaters, entertainment venues, gyms, fitness centers and bars that don’t serve food are to be closed beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17.

All restaurants, bars and retail food shops are to cease dine-in service. Cafeterias in hospitals or nursing homes can remain open.

All schools, universities and businesses are exempt from the new directives.

Does this mean I can’t go out and eat?

Well, sort of.

You can go out and get food. All restaurants and bars are still able to offer food, just only in a drive-thru, delivery or carry-out fashion.

This means you could still go to your favorite restaurant and get food, you would just have to go home to eat it. Many local restaurants are transitioning to a delivery service to make sure they can keep some business.

What happens if a gathering still takes place?

That’s a little unclear. State and local officials have been mum about what the exact penalties would be if any of these directives are violated.

When the gathering limit was 250 people instead of 50, Gov. Eric Holcomb said he would “use every resource and tool under my authority to prevent further community spread.”

But what that exactly means is yet to be known. Since saying that, Holcomb has just said he hopes everybody complies with the directives.

What about warehouses?

All workplaces are exempt from the 50-person restriction, so they technically don’t have to close.

It just depends on each company and what they decide to do for the health of their employees. The best advice to call your business or manager and see how the new directives affect you.

What about my doctor’s office?

Similarly, doctor’s offices are still open. But health officials recommend you stay home, especially if you’re already a high-risk for the coronavirus (60+ years old or have a respiratory condition).

If you have an upcoming appointment, check with your doctor about whether it can be rescheduled, or possible to be done through video chat so you could stay home.

What should I do if I think I have symptoms of COVID-19? Or have more specific questions?

The Indiana State Department of Health has created a 24/7 call center to answer your questions and give you the best guidance about how to proceed.
That number is 877-826-0011.

Monday afternoon, RTV6 government reporter Matt McKinney answered some viewer questions (while working from home) about what the new directives mean for the city and state. Watch below: