INDIANAPOLIS — In a virtual conference Thursday, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County’s Public Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine announced the county is easing back on some restrictions.
Starting on Monday, March 1, the following changes will take effect:
- Bars, restaurants, and music venues will be able to close at 2 a.m., moving past midnight, for the first time in months.
- Bar capacity will go from 25% to 50%.
- Indoor restaurant capacity increases from 50% to 75%.
- Gyms will also go from 25% to 50% capacity.
Mayor Hogsett also announced the COVID Community Ambassador campaign. It’s an effort to make it as easy as possible for residents to find the community programs and services aimed at helping those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hoosiers can sign up for the program at Indy.gov/covid.
Hogsett says the campaign’s goal is to vaccinate 80% of Marion County’s population against COVID-19.
Two Facebook webinars will be held to help kick off the campaign. One webinar will be in English; the other will be in Spanish.
The mayor also stressed the capacity and time changes happening on March 1 were not made due to the NCAA basketball tournament coming to central Indiana.
“With great opportunity, comes great responsibility,” said Hogsett, saying the decision was made based on data and statistics from health officials.
Dr. Caine also commented on the tournament, saying the county plans to adhere to the NCAA’s plan for 25% capacity for venues throughout March Madness.
When speaking about Marion County, Caine said the county has gone down to 3.8% positivity rate.
“We’re making remarkable progress,” remarked Caine.
Caine also predicted a late March or April timeline of when teachers could become eligible for the vaccine. It’s due in large part to millions of vaccine doses coming to Indiana in the coming weeks.
Officials hope to lift more restrictions in the future. However, despite the restrictions lessening, officials stressed Hoosiers should not stop wearing masks or social distancing.