INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) — On Wednesday during his bi-weekly press conference on COVID-19, Governor Holcomb announced the state will begin Stage 4 of reopening at 12:01 a.m. Friday. This is moved up two days from the original date.
The following restriction will change during Stage 4:
- Social gatherings can now have up to 250 people.
- Restaurant dining rooms will open to 75% capacity while maintaining social distancing.
- Bars and nightclubs will open to 50% capacity while maintaining social distancing.
- Retail stores and malls will open at full capacity.
- Cultural, entertainment, and tourism sites, such as museums, zoos, aquariums, and other venues, will open at 50% capacity.
- Movie theaters and bowling alleys will open at 50% capacity.
- Community youth and adult recreational games, leagues, and tournaments may resume.
- Amusement parks and water parks may open at 50% capacity. A reservation system is recommended.
- Racing venues may open at up to 50% capacity while maintaining social distancing.
- Pari-mutuel horse racing will begin with no spectators at Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand facilities.
- Charity gaming and casinos may open June 15 with the approval of the Indiana Gaming Commission.
Public playgrounds can reopen Friday, but festivals and parades ares still prohibited.
This Indiana reopening stage had been scheduled for Sunday. Officials said the earlier action was possible because of continuing declines in the number of people hospitalized for the COVID-19 virus and the availability of intensive care unit beds to treat those who are most seriously ill.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner, warned that precautions were still needed to stem the coronavirus spread even as most of the business and travel restrictions first imposed in March are lifted.
“It doesn’t really mean that we go back to the normal — no masks, no social distancing, no careful handwashing, alcoholing your hands,” Box said. “All of those are critical.”
Holcomb said he was still targeting July 4 as the date for when most gathering size and activity restrictions will be eliminated.
That comes even as Indiana has seen at least 128 coronavirus-related deaths during June, boosting the state’s death toll to 2,355 since the first fatality was reported in mid-March, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.
Holcomb first declared a public health emergency for the state on March 6 and followed that with a statewide stay-at-home order closing nonessential businesses beginning March 25. The stay-at-home order was lifted on May 4 as the initial easing of restrictions began.
“We can’t let up,” Holcomb said of safety precautions. “We can’t act like this virus isn’t continuing to spread across the state of Indiana, but we have the intensity at a managed level.”
More information on the Back-on-Track Indiana stages can be found on its website.