INDIANAPOLIS — Sixty-degree weather plus all day basketball is a Hoosier’s dream day, but health officials think that could equate to a spike in COVID-19 cases.
“We figured, you know, with all the games being downtown we just kind of wanted to see what was going on down here get out of the house and just make the most out of it," Andrew Stiegelmeyer said.
He said Sunday was his first time downtown in a year and he’s excited to be a part of the action.
“We brought our masks, we’ve got hand sanitizer in our pockets and it doesn't seem overly crowded and so far it looks like everyone's kind of distant so you know, we feel safe, but you know we've got precautions just in case," Stiegelmeyer said.
"On Sunday, things do look better compared to Friday and Saturday," Hayley DeHaan said, who works at Good Neighbor on Mass Ave. “Today it's a little bit better. There's a lot more spaced-out tables, there's a little bit more family friendly; yesterday felt a lot like college party almost."
WRTV reached out to the Marion County Public Health Department to get a better idea for how they were monitoring the situation.
"After being notified of a potential public health hazard, we dispatched inspectors to make sure critical safety measures are followed," read a statement released by their spokesperson. "When public health orders are violated, the health department can take escalating enforcement measures to include fines and other actions."
"They were talking about it as a place where families can come in and you know do things, so today feels more authentic to what we were expecting so that feels really nice," DeHaan said.
WRTV also reached out to Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett's office. His spokesperson released the following statement:
“The city remains committed to the health and safety of residents and visitors alike. In addition to the protocols already in place around the city, we will continue to encourage the basics of mask-wearing and social distancing. We are in regular contact with the Marion County Public Health Department as they monitor developments and use public health enforcement measures as necessary.”
Here is the entire statement from the Marion County Public Health Department:
“The Marion County Public Health Department has been working closely with event organizers, public safety, and public health partners to ensure games and other festivities in the month of March are conducted with adequate safety measures in place. In addition to reminders that residents and visitors follow established guidelines and protocols to keep everyone living, working, and playing in our community safe and healthy, we have stepped up enforcement measures in and around the downtown area and will continue these efforts in the coming weeks. After being notified of a potential public health hazard, we dispatched inspectors to make sure critical safety measures are followed.”
When asked how the inspectors will make sure the safety measures are followed, the health department spokesperson said the following:
“When public health orders are violated, the Health Department can take escalating enforcement measures to include fines and other actions.”