Indiana will move to reopening plan Stage 5, mask mandate to continue

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS — Citing the state’s improvement in positivity rates in coronavirus testing and the slowing of the spread, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced Indiana will move to Stage 5 of its Back On Track reopening plan.

According to Stage 5, face coverings are still required, and the governor and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said Indiana’s mask mandate has contributed to the state’s drop in positivity.

This means the removal of size limitations on social gatherings, though events holding over 500 people should get approval from their local health department.

Restaurants and bars may be open at full capacity with physical distancing measures remaining in place. Capacity levels at gyms and fitness centers have also been lifted and facilities can open with continued distancing and sanitation precautions.

Holcomb said senior centers and meal sites can also be opened, again with precautions remaining in place.

Stage 5 has been adjusted slightly, he said, as not every establishment will not be able to operate at their original capacity because of the social distancing rules, as was originally planned when the stages of the plan were announced.

When asked about a lawsuit against Indianapolis by Marion County bar owners over local restrictions, Holcomb said he continues to support the rights of local governments to impose stricter limits if necessary.

Holcomb said he is confident that it will be safe to vote at polling locations thanks to volunteers and guidelines in place, when asked about “anti-masking” becoming more of a political statement.

Holcomb said the official Executive Order will be posted Thursday.

Dr. Box re-emphasized the importance of wearing masks and keeping social distancing practices in place, and shared positive news of infection rates dropping in the majority of the state, largely due to these practices.

Dr. Box also said flu season is coming and asked everyone to get flu shots to keep Hoosier’s healthy, while warning that the flu has similar symptoms to COVID-19.

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