INDIANAPOLIS– As Indiana looks to reopen the state’s economy, the COVID-19 task force is making sure everything moves smoothly.
During the Governor’s COVID-19 task force briefing Tuesday, leaders in government, industry and healthcare shared the latest updates. This included a reminder about the new website to help Hoosiers find testing sites. The state plans on testing 100,000 people each month.
Much of Indiana began its second stage of the roadmap to reopening, Monday which opened retail shops to 50 percent capacity and lifted travel restrictions. As the state looks to opening restaurants to half capacity on Monday, the task force is letting people know what to expect.
Patrick Tamm, President of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association (INRLA) says they produced guidelines for restaurants with the FDA and the Indiana State Department of Health’s consumer food protection division.
The guidelines call for servers and kitchen staff to wear masks. Other safety measures include either using one-use menus or menus that are texted to customers. People will also have to wait in their vehicles until their reservation time.
Inside the restaurants, tables will be either removed or marked off. On the table, restaurants will be required to use one-use condiments. Restaurants are expected to have a person on staff to educate customers about the new restrictions in place to keep them safe.
Tamm spoke directly to potential restaurant patrons, encouraging them to do the right thing.
“Guests, if you are not feeling well; if you were exposed; if you have underlying conditions do not come into our restaurants,” Tamm said.
Tamm also provided additional information for consumers on the INRLA website.
Restaurants are one of the businesses that qualify for the PPE marketplace. This is how the state is supplying personal protective equipment (PPE) for people going back to work.
Business or nonprofits with fewer than 150 employees can apply for the program that provides bundles of masks, hand sanitizer, face shields, and other protective gear. Currently, the program is free. However, it could cost to fulfill orders in the future.
The state is expecting to fill 10,000 requests during the first week of the program. They ask companies to seek other options first.
The marketplace will officially launch Wednesday. Business owners will be able to find additional information at https://backontrack.in.gov/