While you were sleeping: Coronavirus updates for May 22

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INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments in the coronavirus pandemic that you may have missed overnight.

Here’s a look:

Today, nearly every Indiana county will move into Stage 3 of Governor Holcomb’s plan to reopen the economy. The move comes two days ahead of its original target date.

This means gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed; stores and malls can open to 75 percent capacity; gyms, other fitness centers, and pools can open; and recreational sports can start practicing with the exception of contact sports like football and lacrosse.

State health leaders say they were able to move up the date because Indiana has expanded testing, contact tracing, maintained ICU and ventilator capacity, and reduced coronavirus hospitalizations. However, the state has not met CDC guidelines of 14-day COVID-19 decline in cases.

Meanwhile, Marion, Cass, and Lake Counties are not expected to enter Stage 3 until sometime in June.

But there will be some changes in Marion County today.

Outdoor dining will be allowed at restaurants across Indianapolis starting today, and to give restaurants more room outside, some popular streets are blocked off.

The following sections are closed:

  • Georgia Street from Pennsylvania to Illinois.
  • Illinois from Georgia Street to Market Street
  • The southern half of Monument Circle
  • Broad Ripple Avenue from College to the Monon Trail
  • Mass Ave from its intersection with College Avenue to its intersection with New York and Delaware Streets

The street closures aren’t the only changes to the dining scene. Tables will be limited to four people, and tables will be spaced six feet apart.

City officials and IMPD will be out to educate and remind everyone to wear a mask, to social distance, and to not crowd around entryways.

Mayor Joe Hogsett says the outside dining rules could last until July 4. Limited indoor dining could return as early as June 1.

A familiar summer sight has returned to downtown streets. Pedal pubs are back in action.

The Pickled Pedaler resumed tours last week. It’s operating at half the normal capacity.

Everyone has to sit one seat apart, and a plexiglass barrier was installed in the middle. Also, they say they have strict cleaning requirements before each ride.

“A lot of people are looking for some sort of semblance of normalism to get back to, and we want to provide that in a fun, safe, responsible way,” Rob Deams, Pickled Pedaler general manager, said.

Handlebar Indy also said they would resume tours this weekend.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources made a big announcement this week. Campgrounds, property-operated cabins, and many park swimming beaches are reopening in time for Memorial Day Weekend. Boat rentals also begin this weekend.

Some amenities like playgrounds and public outdoor park pools will remain closed.

The DNR says everyone can make online reservations for campsites now.

You can purchase passes and permits either online or at the entrance gates.

The parks’ staff asks people to bring hand sanitizer and social distance. They also urge people to stay home if they are sick.

We now know the number of children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome is growing in Indiana. That illness may be linked to COVID-19.

The state health department confirmed one case earlier this week, but IU Health now confirms multiple cases.

The mysterious illness has affected more than 100 children in New York, and at least 20 states plus Washington, DC have reported they are investigating possible cases.

Symptoms to look out for include fever, abdominal pain, rashes, or bloodshot eyes.

If your child shows more serious symptoms—like trouble breathing or chest pain—take them to the emergency room right away.

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