INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana is taking significant steps to combat the COVID-19 crisis, according to Governor Eric Holcomb and other state officials.
Developments announced at a Wednesday news conference include:
- State will not relax some virus restrictions.
- State will release COVID-19 nursing home data.
- Governor strongly urges Hoosiers to wear masks.
Stage Five Restrictions: The governor announced some COVID-19 restrictions set to expire July 4 will be extended at least two weeks. As a result, restaurants and will not be able to move to full capacity this weekend. These businesses are now operating at 75% and 50% capacity.
The current 250-person limit at social gatherings will also not be relaxed. Cultural, entertainment and tourism sites may continue operations at 50%. So can bowling alleys, amusement and water parks. Raceways may operate at 50% of grandstand capacity.
Beginning July 4, fairs, festivals and other similar outdoor events may open. Pari-mutuel horse racing and county and state fair racing may begin with 50% spectator capacity. Youth overnight camps may open.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Analysis: Spike in Indiana COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations leads to pause on reopening
Holcomb said Indiana is mostly "holding its own" in dealing with COVID-19 cases, but there has been an "uptick" in virus cases and the number of people going to the hospital.
“While most of our health indicators remain positive, our data indicates a need to be extra cautious, which is why we will pause much of our Back on Track roadmap,” Holcomb said.
Nursing Home Data: The governor said the state will begin releasing COVID-19 nursing home data soon. Indiana is been under public pressure to make this data public, as nursing homes have had a high incidence of the virus.
The data will be "facility specific" and will be available to the public by the mid-July.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Indiana to release detailed data on COVID-19 deaths in long-term care facilities
Mask Wearing: Holcomb announced the state is stepping up efforts to get Hoosiers to wear masks. The governor said he is "recommending in the strongest terms possible" that Indiana residents should wear masks in public and practice social distancing. For now, the state will not mandate mask wearing, but it is launching a campaign to encourage mask use.
The initiative will begin with videos and photos of state government leaders, celebrities, and Hoosiers from all walks of life sharing their reasons for wearing a mask in public. Visit www.coronavirus.in.gov/maskuphoosiers [coronavirus.in.gov] to learn more.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, 2,456 people in Indiana have died from COVID-19 and 45,952 have been diagnosed with the virus.
Watch Holcomb's press conference in the video player below: