Gov. Holcomb to move state to Stage 3

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On May 20, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced most of the state would
proceed to Stage 3 of its plan to reopen its economy.

Stage 1 of the plan started March 24 and concluded May 4. Stage 2
began May 4 and was scheduled to end May 22, with the exceptions of
Lake, Marion counties, which could only enter Stage 3 as soon as June
1.

In Stage 3, social gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed.
Restaurant dining rooms will remain open at 50 percent capacity. And
retail stores and malls will open to 75 percent capacity. Gyms, and
other fitness facilities may open with restrictions. Community pools
and campgrounds were scheduled to reopen. Recreational sports, such as
basketball, tennis, soccer and baseball, were allowed to resume,
though contact sports such as football and lacrosse are still
prohibited, as of this time.

Holcomb also said he would sign an executive order to be issued May 21
that extends prohibition on turning off utilities, filing mortgage
foreclosures and evictions and extends deadlines to acquire or renew
drivers licenses, vehicle registration and similar BMV documentation.

During the stage, Hoosiers 65 and older, along with others at-risk to
COVID-19, should remain cautious and limit there exposure to the
disease by continuing to social distance and possibly isolate, state
officials said.

State officials said they were confident the state could enter the
next stage of the state’s reopening plan because the four guidelines
used to track Indiana’s progress in slowing the spread of the new
coronavirus were holding strong, with daily hospitalization rates
down, positive percentages of tested Hoosiers dropping, retained ICU
bed and ventilator capacity, in addition to increased testing and
contact-tracing efforts.

But Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said she had
some concerns about the state continuing to move forward into Stage 4.

“I have concerns and reservations about every step and every change we
make,” Box said. “That is a normal thing. I wouldn’t be giving it the
appropriate evaluation (without them). However, I do think there is a
way we can do this safely, and that involves all of the same things
that we’ve already been doing: And that is social distancing, washing
your hands, wearing our masks … and I would strongly encourage
gatherings that large to be outside because we know that that is a
protective effect – being outside in the open air rather than in a
small, enclosed space. But, of course, I have concerns about it.”

Holcomb said the state would continue to monitor its progress, and
that Stage 4 was “written in pencil,” but that Hoosiers have “earned
the ability to move forward.”




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