Health department threatens $1,000 fines for businesses violating public health orders, people violating mask mandate

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Public Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine announced tougher sanctions in the fight against COVID-19.

Caine said, “The time for warnings is over,” as she threatened immediate $1,000 fines to business violating public health orders and individuals violating the mask mandate.

If you see a violation, Dr. Caine asks you to call 317-221-5500 to make a report so an inspector can investigate.

This comes as Marion County’s seven-day daily positivity rate for COVID-19 tests climbs to 9.2%. That’s about four percentage points higher than what experts say is comfortable for battling the virus.

Marion County has the most positive cases of COVID-19 in the state at nearly 16,000. ISDH reports there have been 725 deaths in the county.

Caine says 50% of Marion County’s cases are from people in the 20 to 39-year-old age range. More specifically, most of those cases are in the 20 to 24 age group.

Caine also said bars and nightclubs that do not have a full menu must remain closed. And seating restrictions for indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants remain in place.

Hogsett and Caine also set some specific requirements for high school sporting events this fall. Caine says she is comfortable giving high school football the green light, but the number of people in the stands is limited to 250, regardless of how big the stands are. Everyone in the stands must wear masks and practice social distancing.

Hogsett held his State of the City Address last night. He announced $16 million in coronavirus relief funding for people who have been affected by the pandemic.

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