INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments in the coronavirus pandemic that you may have missed overnight.
Here’s a look:
Marion County joins the rest of the state in Stage 4.5 of Indiana’s Back on Track Plan today. Last week, Gov. Holcomb announced the state’s plan to enter the new stage, but Marion County was slightly delayed.
Many things will stay the same, including the social gatherings cap and the capacity for restaurants, bars, and other businesses, but some things will change.
Fairs, festivals, and conventions are allowed to start.
Events with more than 1,000 people have to submit a safety plan to the health department.
Another big change in Marion County today is the start of the mask mandate.
People in Marion County will be required to wear a mask or a face covering when they are out in public.
Masks must be worn inside and outside when people are unable to follow social distancing.
Downtown Indy, Inc. officials say they surveyed 8,000 people and found 65% percent of them would prefer activities and going out again when masks are required.
Masks are not required when you are home, if you have a medical condition, if you are hospitalized, while exercising, while driving, and while eating.
Children under the age of 2 are also not required to wear them.
Also, today, Mayor Joe Hogsett will hand out free face coverings at Gleaners starting at 2 p.m., and those who still do not have a mask can request one here.
The Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police wants to make it clear that you should not call law enforcement if you spot someone not wearing a mask.
Hogsett says they will enforce the mandate with an education-first approach.
If there are repeat offenses or someone refuses to wear one, they should contact the Emergency Operations Center manager at indy.gov. A public health official will then respond “however appropriately,” Hogsett said.
With nearly twice the cases of any other country in the world, the United States hit 3 million coronavirus cases Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
This follows a day of record numbers Tuesday with more than 60,000 cases nationwide as virus rates continue to surge in the South and West. Florida reporting nearly 10,000 new cases on Wednesday.
An updated model from the University of Washington predicts more than 208,000 Americans will die from the virus by Nov. 1, partly because of the surge of cases in California, Florida, Texas and Arizona.
Many college sports teams are working to adapt amid the pandemic, but the Ivy League announced on Wednesday there will be no sports competition this upcoming fall.
Campus policies including restrictions on student and staff travel, requirements for social distancing, limits on group gatherings and regulations for visitors to campus make sports impractical, executive director Robin Harris told ESPN.
Practices and other athletic training opportunities will be permitted to continue provided they are structured in accordance with each institution’s procedures and applicable state regulations.
League officials also state that fall sport student-athletes will not lose a season of Ivy League or NCAA eligibility in the fall, whether or not they enroll. Students interested in pursuing competition during a fifth year will need to work with their institutions to determine options.
The Ivy League has also not made any decisions yet on whether they will move the football season to spring 2021.