Indiana delays lifting capacity limits on restaurants, bars

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A change has been made in Indiana’s Back on Track plan as COVID-19 positivity rate and hospitalization numbers have risen slightly. Governor Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday that capacity limits for indoor businesses will not move forward as planned in Stage 5.

“We are managing our way through this,” Governor Eric Holcomb said while addressing an uptick in numbers and sharing concerns about numbers in surrounding states. “Indiana is largely holding steady.”

According to State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box, hospitalizations were dropping until this past week. At last check, 668 Hoosiers were hospitalized with COVID-19. Since June 25, the state has been seeing about 33 new hospitalizations per day.

“We’re not blind to what’s happening across the United States,” Dr. Box added. “We want to be conservative and smart with this.”

The newly introduced Stage 4.5 features a mix of Stage 4 and Stage 5 guidelines. Things like restaurants, bars, stores, personal services, gyms and other indoor businesses must follow the guidelines that are in place now, as opposed to opening to full capacity.

Stage 5 was originally planned to begin Saturday. Stage 4.5 is in place for July 4 to July 17.

Outdoor events, like fairs, festivals, youth overnight camps and horse racing will be allowed to resume, following Stage 5 guidelines.

Stage 4.5 Guidelines

  • Continue remote work as needed
  • Face coverings are highly recommended
  • Social gatherings of up to 250 people are allowed with CDC social distancing guidelines in place

Governor Eric Holcomb was asked Wednesday why the state has not mandated wearing masks in public.

“I believe in Hoosiers and I believe Hoosiers are doing the right thing,” Holcomb answered. “That’s not to say 8 weeks from now we might be in a different situation.”

Dr. Box added to the discussion that she and the governor support the counties that have put the mask requirements in place.

The Indiana Department of Health announced Wednesday 371 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the state, bringing the total number to 45,952. Eight more people have died due to COVID-19, that brings the total to 2,456 COVID-19 deaths.

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