As part of our City Limits: Coronavirus project, a listener asked what will happen if COVID-19 “spikes while we’re opening up. Will we go back to lockdown like in the beginning?”
Gov. Eric Holcomb said when he announced on May 1 Indiana’s five-phase plan to reopen the state by July 4 that reverting to previous restrictions would be an option if the data indicates it is necessary. He said the plans are always subject to change and “it’s going to come down to us” to follow safe practices to stay on track with his plan.
But as of last Wednesday, the governor was moving forward at a faster pace than laid out on May 1.
He announced all except a few areas of the state would leave Phase 2 on March 22, two days earlier than had been scheduled. He was quick to add that local communities did not have to reopen as quickly as the rest of the state.
Monroe County will stay in Phase 2 until at least May 31.
The governor said “We’ve earned the ability to move forward” to Phase 3 a couple days earlier than original planned. This stage will last until June 13 unless the governor must “rescind, modify or expand” it – more evidence that restrictions could be restored.
However for now, for most of the state Phase 3 means:
- Social gatherings may be as large as 100 people.
- Restaurant dining rooms can remain up with 50% capacity.
- Retail stores and malls will open to 75% capacity.
- Gyms, YMCAs and fitness studios may reopen with restrictions.
- Community pools and campgrounds may reopen.
- Recreational sports practices may begin again following safety guidelines.
- Contact sports such as football and lacrosse are prohibited.
- Basketball, tennis, soccer and baseball courts and fields may open.
- Youth summer day camps may begin June 1.
- Raceways can begin competitions with no spectators.
- State park inns can now open.
The governor said the behavior of Hoosiers will determine whether progress will continue to be made toward his July 4 goal.
He said the decisions are prefaced on the understanding that all Hoosiers have a role to play by following all the guidance of health care experts – wearing a mask in public, staying at least six feet away from others, practicing vigilant hygiene such as washing hands frequently, etc.
“This is about public health and we have to hold each other accountable,” he said.
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