Business

The 30 retailers and restaurant chains that filed for bankruptcy in 2020

Papyrus greeting card store with signs reading Store Closing in Walnut Creek, California following the bankruptcy of parent company The Schurman Retail Group, January 31, 2020. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

(CNN) — There’s no way to sugarcoat it: 2020 was a brutal year for restaurants and stores. The pandemic, massive amounts of debt and a shift in shopping as well as dining habits created a lethal cocktail of bankruptcies and closures.

New data from Coresight Research reveals American retailers have announced 8,400 closures this year. Ascena Retail closed the most locations, at nearly 1,200. Coresight anticipates closures will snowball and set a new record this year, breaking the 2019 record of 9,302 closures tracked by the firm.

Business is equally bleak for the US restaurant industry. About 17% of the country’s restaurants — roughly 110,000 — have permanently closed this year, with thousands more on the brink according to a recent National Restaurant Association report.

With lockdowns devastating retail and restaurants — many of which that were already in deep trouble, dozens declared bankruptcy this year.

January

Papyrus: The mall staple best known for selling stationery and upscale greeting cards went out of business, resulting in the closure of more than 250 stores across the US and Canada. Papyrus blamed an overexpansion of stores, the downturn in brick-and-mortar shopping and its inability to recover fully from the 2008 financial crisis.

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Bar Louie: It was last call for about half of the 90 US locations of the casual restaurant chain, which is best known for its happy hour deals. The chain filed for Chapter 11 and came to an agreement with its lenders to purchase the chain through a bankruptcy sale.

Krystal: In its bankruptcy filing, the 88-year-old fast food chain blamed several contributing factors including increased competition, shifting consumer tastes and the rise of online delivery platforms. Krystal emerged from bankruptcy in May.

February

Pier 1 Imports: The home goods retailer filed for bankruptcy, following years of decline because of online competition and big-box chains. Pier 1, which once had more than 1,000 locations, cultimately closed all of its locations. In July, the brand name was purchased by an investment firm and will relaunch it as an online-only store.

March

Modell’s Sporting Goods: The family-owned chain founded in 1889, was known best for selling local teams’ jerseys and equipment for youth leagues. The bankruptcy resulted in permanent closure all of its 153 stores, primarily in the northeast. The same company that bought Pier 1 also bought Modell’s brand name in August for an online store.

April

True Religion: Temporary store closures and the work-from-home trend took its toll on the denim retailer. True Religion emerged from bankruptcy in October, and it managed to slashed its debt but closed dozens of locations.

May

J.Crew Group: The preppy retailer, which operates the J.Crew and Madewell brands, became the first national US retailer to file for bankruptcy protection since the pandemic forced a wave of temporary store closures. It exited bankruptcy in September with a smaller debt load and named a new CEO — its third in three years — in November.

Neiman Marcus: The 113-year-old upscale department store was hit especially hard by the nation working from home. It emerged from bankruptcy in September with billions of dollars less in debt and five fewer stores, including its flashy Hudson Yards stores that opened in New York City in 2019.

JCPenney: The pandemic was the final blow to a 119-year-old company struggling to overcome a decade of bad decisions, executive instability and damaging market trends. JCPenney shuttered about a third of its stores. The company was rescued in December by mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management, which bought JCPenney out of bankruptcy.

Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes: COVID-19 was a brutal blow for all-you-can-eat buffets, especially for this restaurant chain. It announced the closure of all of its 97 US restaurants and liquidated its assets.

Tuesday Morning: Another discount home goods retailer filed for bankruptcy in the spring, saying that the prolonged store closures caused an “insurmountable financial hurdle.” The Dallas-based chain permanently closed approximately 230 of its nearly 700 US stores in cities where “too many locations are in close proximity.”

June

GNC: The 85-year-old vitamin and dietary supplement company closed about 1,200 stores as part of its bankruptcy. GNC has has been saddled with nearly $1 billion of debt and has faced declining sales at its brick-and-mortar locations since before the pandemic. It’s in the process of selling itself to a Chinese pharmaceutical company

CEC Entertainment: Prolonged closures and stay-at-home orders was particularly damaging to Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company. CEC, which also owns Peter Piper Pizza, is using Chapter 11 protection to “achieve a comprehensive balance sheet restructuring that supports its re-opening and longer-term strategic plans.”

July

NPC International: The name of this huge franchisee might not sound familiar, but the stores it operates certainly have name recognition: 1,200 Pizza Hut and 400 Wendy’s restaurants throughout the United States. The company blamed its debt load of nearly $1 billion as well as rising labor and food costs for the bankruptcy. Weeks later, NPC announced that up to 300 of its Pizza Hut locations will close.

Brooks Brothers: The 200-year-old menswear retailer, which has dressed 40 US presidents and unofficially became the outfitter of Wall Street bankers, filed for bankruptcy. The privately held company had been struggling as business attire grew more casual in recent years and was especially damaged by the pandemic, which sent demand for suits plummeting. The brand was bought in September by Simon Property Group.

Sur La Table: The 50-year-old purveyor of upscale kitchenware filed for bankruptcy, resulting in the closure of roughly half of its 120 US stores. Sur La Table was sold for $90 million August to an investment firm.

Muji USA: The US arm of the Japanese retailer entered bankruptcy and closed a “small number” of its locations. Muji is using the process to emerge with a renewed focus on online sales.

Lucky Brand: The once-trendy denim company filed for bankruptcy, explaining in a release that the pandemic has “severely impacted sales across all channels.” Lucky Brand will immediately close 13 of its roughly 200 stores in North America, which are mostly in malls. It sold itself to SPARC Group, the owner of Nautica and Aéropostale, in August.

RTW Retailwinds: The owner of women’s retailer New York & Co. filed in mid-July. RTW Retailwinds, which has nearly 400 stores and 5,000 employees, closed hundreds of its locations. It blamed its collapse on the “challenging retail environment coupled with the impact of the pandemic” that has caused “significant financial distress.”

Ascena Retail Group: The owner of Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lane Bryant and other women’s clothng stores also filed for bankruptcy. Ascena, which was in deep financial trouble even before the pandemic, closed hundreds of its stores including all of its roughly 300 Catherines locations. It’s currently in the process of selling itself to a private equity firm.

California Pizza Kitchen: The 35-year-old pizza chain filed for bankruptcy because of restrictions on indoor dining in several US states. It used the process to reduce its debt and closed several unprofitable locations. CPK exited bankruptcy in mid-November.

August

Lord & Taylor: The once-snazzy upscale retailer filed for bankruptcy just a year after it was bought for $75 million. Hopes of keeping some of its stores quickly collapsed with the brand announcing a month later it was shutting all of them down, ending a nearly 200-year run.

Tailored Brands: The brand, which owns Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, filed for bankruptcy to cut down its debt. The filing followed a previous announcement that it was closing a third of its stores and cutting 20% of corporate positions. Tailored emerged from bankruptcy with a lighter debt load in December.

Stein Mart: The third major discount retailer filed for bankruptcy and closed its 300 US stores. The 112-year-old company blamed its failure on changing consumer habits and the pandemic, both of which “have caused significant financial distress on our business,” its CEO said. The brand was bought by an investment firm in December with plans to relaunch online.

September

Century 21: Beloved by New Yorkers, the department store chain shuttered its 13 locations ending a 60-year-old run. The company blamed the lack of payment on its business interruption insurance as the cause of its demise.

Sizzler USA: The restaurant chain, which was one of the country’s first casual restaurant chains, filed for bankruptcy because of COVID-19 lockdowns that forced it to temporarily close its restaurants’ dining rooms. The 62-year-old company said that it’s using the bankruptcy process to reduce debt and renegotiate its leases.

October

Ruby Tuesday: Anothercasual dining chain blamed the pandemic for its bankruptcy. Ruby Tuesday said it’s using the process to reduce its debt and operate as normally as possible. The privately held chain has closed roughly 200 locations within the past few years, with about 300 remaining globally.

November

Friendly’s: The East Coast diner chain best known for its “Fribble” milkshakes and sandwiches, filed for bankruptcy for the second time in less than a decade. It intends to “sell substantially all of its assets” to a private hedge fund company that owns other quick-service restaurants, including Red Mango and Souper Salad. Friendly’s has about 130 locations left, down from the 400 it operated about a decade ago.

Guitar Center: The 61-year-old company, the biggest musical instrument retailer in the United States, had tried to stay afloat during the pandemic by offering virtual music lessons, but ultimately filed for bankruptcy. Stores like Guitar Center depend on people making discretionary purchases have been among the worst-hit retailers this year.

December

Francesca’s: Malls were dealt another blow with the bankruptcy of this woman’s boutique. Francesca’s is closing about a quarter of its 700 stores, and it’s using the bankruptcy to obtain new financing and a possible sale.

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Indiana coronavirus timeline

With information from the Indiana Department of Health through Jan. 14, 2021, this timeline reflects updated tallies of deaths and positive tests prior to that date.

  • March 6, 2020: Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) confirms the first case in Indiana. Officials say the Marion County resident had recently traveled to Boston to attend a BioGen conference as a contractor.
  • March 8: ISDH confirms a second case. An adult in Hendricks County who had also traveled to the BioGen conference was placed in isolation. Noblesville Schools say a parent and that parent’s children will be self-quarantining after attending an out-of-state event where someone else tested positive.
  • March 9: Avon Community School Corp. says a student on March 8 tested positive.
  • March 10: ISDH launches an online tracker. Ball State University basketball fans learn the Mid-American Conference tourney will have no fans in the stands. Three businesses operating nursing homes in Indiana announce they will no longer allow visitors.
  • March 11: The Indianapolis-based NCAA announces the Final Four basketball tournaments will be conducted with essential staff and limited family attendance. The Big Ten announces all sports events, including the men’s basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, will have no fans starting March 12. Ball State University suspends in-person classes the rest of the spring semester. NBA suspends all games, including the Indiana Pacers, until further notice. Butler University and the University of Indianapolis extend spring break, after which they will have virtual classes.
  • March 12: Gov. Eric Holcomb announces new protections that led to extended public school closings and the cancellation of large events across the state. The NCAA cancels its basketball tournaments. The Big Ten suspends all sporting events through the winter and spring seasons. The league including the Indy Fuel hockey team suspends its season. Indy Eleven says it will reschedule four matches. Indianapolis’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is canceled. 
  • March 13: The Indiana High School Athletic Association postpones the boys basketball tournament. Wayzata Home Products, a Connersville cabinet maker, shuts down and lays off its entire workforce due to market uncertainty. Gov. Holcomb announces actions including the elimination of Medicaid co-pays for COVID-19 testing and the lifting of limits on the number of work hours per day for drivers of commercial vehicles. Franklin College says it will begin online classes March 18 and empty residence halls of students in two days. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis closes indefinitely. The Indianapolis Public Library joins other libraries across Indiana and closes all facilities indefinitely.
  • March 14: The Indiana Gaming Commission says all licensed gaming and racing operations will close in two days for an indefinite period.
  • March 15: Indiana had its first death. St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis announces it will suspend all elective, non-urgent surgeries.
  • March 16: Indiana had its second death. Gov. Holcomb announced the first Hoosier death. He closes bars, restaurants and nightclubs to in-person patrons, but maintains carryout and delivery services.
  • March 17: Indiana had its third and fourth deaths. ISDH announces Indiana’s second death. Indiana’s Catholic bishops cancel masses indefinitely. Gov. Holcomb activates the National Guard. Purdue, Butler and Indiana State universities cancel May commencement ceremonies.
  • March 18: Indiana had its fifth death. Eli Lilly and Co. says it will use its labs to speed up testing in Indiana. The 500 Festival suspends all events. Simon Property Group closes all malls and retail properties.
  • March 19: Gov. Holcomb extends Indiana’s state of emergency into May. Holcomb says he’ll close all K-12 public and nonpublic schools. Standardized testing was canceled. The state’s income-tax and corporate-tax payment deadline was extended to July 15. Holcomb says the state will waive job search requirements for people applying for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The IHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament was canceled. The Marion County Emergency Operations Center upgrades to Level 1 status.
  • March 20: Indiana’s death toll rose to 9. ISDH announces Indiana’s third death. Gov. Holcomb moves the state’s primary election to June 2. Indiana University says it is postponing May commencement ceremonies on all campuses.
  • March 21: Indiana’s death toll rises to 14. ISDH announces Indiana’s fourth death. Indiana National Guard says it and the Department of Transportation are distributing medical supplies to hospitals.
  • March 22: Indiana’s death toll rises to 19. ISDH announces seven deaths.
  • March 23: Indiana’s death toll rises to 24. Holcomb orders Hoosiers deemed nonessential to “stay at home” from March 24-April 7. Eli Lilly & Co. begins drive-thru testing for the coronavirus for health care workers with a doctor’s order. Ball State University cancels the May commencement.
  • March 24: Indiana’s death toll rises to 29. Fred Payne of Indiana Workforce Development says any Hoosiers out of work, including temporary layoffs, are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits.
  • March 25: Indiana’s death toll rises to 35. Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces the Indianapolis 500 is moved to Aug. 23.
  • March 26: Indiana’s death toll rises to 44.
  • March 27: Indiana’s death toll rises to 47.
  • March 28: Indiana’s death toll rises to 58.
  • March 29: Indiana’s death toll rises to 76.
  • March 30: Indiana’s death toll rises to 91.
  • March 31: Indiana’s death toll rises above 100, to 113. Gov. Holcomb extends the limits of bars and restaurants to offer only “to go” and “carryout” through April 6. Indiana health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box, asked about when Indiana will be in a surge of COVID-19 cases, says she thinks the surge is starting.
  • April 1: Officials extend Marion County’s “stay at home” order through May 1. Marion County health officials say they will start COVID-19 testing services for front-line employees.
  • April 2: The state announces K-12 schools will be closed for the rest of the school year. The Indiana High School Athletic Association cancels spring sports seasons.
  • April 3: Gov. Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order through April 20. The state receives a federal Major Disaster Declaration for all 92 counties. The Indiana National Guard says it, the Army Corps of Engineers and state health officials will begin to assess sites for alternate health care facilities.
  • April 4: Indiana’s death toll rises above 200.
  • April 6: The state reports a Madison County nursing home has had 11 deaths. Gov. Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order through April 20. He also limits additional businesses to carry-out only.
  • April 7: Indiana’s death toll rises above 300. Indiana health commissioner Box says four long-term care facilities have 22 deaths that appear to be related to COVID-19.
  • April 10: ISDH said 24 residents of a long-term care facility in Madison County have died from COVID-related illness.
  • April 11: Indiana’s death toll rises above 400.
  • April 14: Indiana’s death toll rises above 500.
  • April 16: Indiana records more than 10,000 positive coronavirus tests. The governor says he expects Indiana to experience a reopening in early May.
  • April 17: Indiana’s death toll rises above 600. The governor says that he will extend the “stay at home” order through May 1.
  • April 20: Indiana’s death toll rises above 700. Gov. Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order to May 1. The governor also says, if the medical supply chain is in good shape, other elective medical procedures can resume April 27.
  • April 22: Indiana’s death toll rises above 800. The Tyson facility in Logansport voluntarily closes so 2,200 employees can be tested for COVID-19.
  • April 24: Indiana’s death toll rises above 900. The Indianapolis City-County Council approves $25 million to help small businesses. Fishers City Council creates a city health department with a plan to test every resident.
  • April 25: ISDH says it will launch an antibody testing study for Hoosiers; thousands of residents were randomly selected to participate in the study.
  • April 27: Indiana’s death toll rises above 1,000.
  • April 28: Indiana officials say they will open COVID-19 testing to more Hoosiers, with expanded criteria and new testing services at 20 sites around the state.
  • April 29: The state says it will spent $43 million on contact tracing.
  • April 30: Indianapolis extends its stay-at-home order through May 15.
  • May 1: Gov. Holcomb announces a phased reopening plan for the state of Indiana. He also extends the stay-at-home order to May 4.
  • May 3: Indiana records more than 20,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • May 4: Indiana enters Stage 2 of its Back on Track plan, which excludes Cass County until May 18, and Lake and Marion counties until May 11.
  • May 6:The state begins testing for all Hoosiers at 20 sites, with plans to expand the number of sites to 50 in a week. Ivy Tech Community College says it will continue virtual classes when summer courses begin in June. 
  • May 8: Cris Johnston, director of the Office of Budget and Management, says the state missed out on nearly $1 billion in anticipated April revenues; all state agencies will be given budget-cutting goals. Purdue University OKs plans to reopen for the fall semester with social distancing and other safety measures.
  • May 10: Indiana’s death toll rises above 1,500.
  • May 13: The first phase of a state-sponsored study of the coronavirus estimated about 186,000 Hoosiers had COVID-19 or the antibodies for the novel virus by May 1. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced plans for limited reopenings of worship services, retail establishments, libraries and restaurants.
  • May 15: Simon Property Group reopens Castleton Square Mall, Circle Centre Mall, and Fashion Mall at Keystone
  • May 18: Indiana reports its first case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in a child. The Farbest Foods turkey-processing plant in Huntingburg is closed for three days; 91 people had tested positive there.
  • May 21: Indiana records more than 30,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • May 22: Indiana advances to Stage 3 of the Back on Track reopening plan. Indianapolis closes portions of five streets to allow restaurants to reopen with outdoor dining only.
  • May 27: Indiana University says the fall semester will have in-person and online courses, plus an adjusted calendar through May 2021. Ball State University says the fall semester will be 13 straight weeks of in-person classes with no day off on Labor Day and no fall break.
  • May 28: Indiana’s death toll rises above 2,000.
  • May 29: Places of worship in Marion County can begin holding indoor services at 50% capacity with proper social distancing. Jim Schellinger, Indiana secretary of commerce, said the federal Paycheck Protection Program has made 73,430 loans in Indiana totaling $9,379,164,461, the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan program has made 5,070 loans in Indiana totaling $445,428,500, and the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans Advance program has made 38,365 grants in Indiana totaling $136,554,000.
  • June 1: Marion County restaurants begins serving customers indoors and outdoors with 50% capacity. Marion County salons, tattoo parlors reopen by appointment only. Marion County gyms, fitness centers and pools reopen with 50% capacity and no contact sports. However, a Marion County curfew that began the night of May 31 and continued into the morning of June 3 after rioting impacted the reopening of some businesses.
  • June 3: Phase 2 of statewide testing of random Hoosiers by the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI and the Indiana State Department of Health begins.
  • June 5: Indiana reports May tax revenues were 20% short of projections made before the coronavirus closings started.
  • June 8: Indianapolis leaders agree to spend $79 million in coronavirus relief funding on contact tracing, rent relief, personal protective equipment and support for small businesses.
  • June 12: Indiana, excluding Marion County, advances to Stage 4 of reopening plan.
  • June 15: Casinos and parimutuel racing reopen in the state. Marion County’s public libraries begin a phased reopening.
  • June 19: Marion County advances to Stage 4 of state’s reopening plan.
  • June 24: The governor says the state’s moratorium on the eviction on renters will be extended through July. Indiana announces it will create a rental assistance program July 13. Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon says he has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • June 27: Indiana hospitalizations for COVID-19 begin to increase, with about 33 new patients a day through July 1.
  • July 1: Indiana’s death toll rises above 2,500. The governor pauses Stage 5 final reopening plan, announces Stage 4.5 from July 4-17.
  • July 4: Indiana’s Stage 4.5 reopening plan begins.
  • July 9: Indiana records more than 50,000 positive coronavirus tests. Marion County mandates mask-wearing.
  • July 10: Indianapolis Public Schools announces its reopening plans.
  • July 11: Indy Eleven resumes 2020 season with victory at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis reopens.
  • July 13: Indiana begins rental assistance program for all counties but Marion County. Marion County begins its own rental assistance program.
  • July 15: Indiana announces the Stage 4.5 reopening plan will continue another two weeks. The WNBA season begins.
  • July 16: Indianapolis suspends applications for its rental assistance program due to overwhelming demand.
  • July 24: Bars, taverns and nightclubs in Indianapolis are shut down again. City officials also return to other previous restrictions.
  • July 25: Indiana Fever begins WNBA season after delays.
  • July 27: Indiana governor’s order to wear face coverings begins. Great Lakes Valley Conference, which including University of Indianapolis, postpones most fall sports, including football, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball, until spring.
  • July 30: NBA season resumes.
  • Aug. 4: Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces the Aug. 23 Indianapolis 500 will be run without fans.
  • Aug. 5: With more than 1,000 positive tests reported in a single day, Indiana jumps to a total of 70,993 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Aug. 10: Indiana records more than 75,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Aug. 17: Indianapolis Public Schools restarts with online-only classes. News 8 learns the 2021 NBA All-Star Game will not happen on Presidents Day weekend in 2021.
  • Aug. 20: Indiana’s death toll rises above 3,000. Purdue University suspends 36 students after a party at a co-op.
  • Aug. 21: Indiana high school football season begins with some teams not playing due to COVID-19 concerns.
  • Aug. 23: Butler University tells undergraduates that instruction will occur remotely for the first two weeks of the semester, starting Aug. 24, instead of in classrooms.
  • Aug. 24: Purdue, Indiana, IUPUI and Ball State universities resume in-person classes.
  • Aug. 25: Reports say a fraternity, a sorority and a cooperative house at Purdue University are under quarantines.
  • Aug. 26: Gov. Holcomb extends the mask mandate through Sept. 25. Indiana’s rental assistance program will take applications for one last day.
  • Aug. 27: Indiana University says eight Greek houses are under 14-day quarantines.
  • Sept. 2: Indiana University tells 30 Greek houses in Bloomington to quarantine.
  • Sept. 6: Indiana records more than 100,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Sept. 8: Marion County allows bars and nightclubs to reopen with 25% capacity indoors and 50% capacity outdoors.
  • Sept. 12: The Indianapolis Colts open their season with a loss in a Jacksonville stadium with a limited number of fans.
  • Sept. 21: The Indianapolis Colts home opener is limited to 2,500 fans.
  • Sept. 23: Gov. Eric Holcomb extends the mask mandate through Oct. 17.
  • Sept. 24: The state’s mask mandate is extended through Oct. 17.
  • Sept. 25: The Mid-American Conference announces it will start a six-game football season Nov. 4, with the championship game Dec. 18 or 19.
  • Sept. 26: Indiana advances to a revised Stage 5 of Indiana Back on Track plan with relaxed limits on gatherings, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and more. Marion, Monroe and Tippecanoe counties decided to have more restrictive limits, however.
  • Sept. 27: The Indianapolis Colts second home game is limited to 7,500 fans.
  • Sept. 28: Purdue University says it’s suspended 14 students, including 13 student-athletes, for violations of a pledge designed to curb the coronavirus pandemic on campus.
  • Sept. 30: The Indiana State Department of Health’s online coronavirus dashboard began showing data on positive coronavirus cases in Indiana schools.
  • Oct. 1: IU’s website shows two additional fraternities and a sorority at the Bloomington campus have been issued “cease and desist” orders.
  • Oct. 2: Franklin College suspends classes and moves to virtual education and activities through Oct. 9 after a “concerning and unusual” increase in the positivity rate for COVID-19.
  • Oct. 3: Indiana records more than 125,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Oct. 4: Indiana’s death toll rises above 3,500.
  • Oct. 12: Franklin College returns to in-person classes.
  • Oct. 13: Indianapolis-based drugmaker Lilly pauses its trial of a combination antibody treatment for coronavirus for safety reasons.
  • Oct. 14: Indiana health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box announces she has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Oct. 15: Gov. Holcomb issues executive order to extend mask mandate and Stage 5 reopening plan.
  • Oct. 18: The Indianapolis Colts third home game was limited to 12,500 fans.
  • Oct. 19: Indiana records more than 150,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Oct. 23: The Big Ten begins its football season.
  • Oct. 26: Indiana’s death toll rises above 4,000.
  • Oct. 29: Indiana records more than 175,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Oct. 30: Gov. Holcomb extends the public health emergency through Dec. 1.
  • Nov. 1: Indiana National Guard to begin deploying to long-term care facilities to provide coronavirus assistance.
  • The Mid-American Conference football teams begins its six-game regular season.
  • Nov. 5: Indiana records more than 200,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Nov. 8: The Indianapolis Colts fourth home game was limited to 12,500 fans.
  • Nov. 9: Indiana’s death toll rises above 4,500.
  • Nov. 12: Indianapolis calls for schools to go to virtual learning by Nov. 30.
  • Nov. 14: Indiana records more than 251,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Nov. 15: Indiana adds coronavirus-control restrictions for all businesses and gatherings in counties with the highest number of new cases as part of an update to the statewide COVID-19 pandemic response.
  • Nov. 16: Indianapolis limits capacity inside bars, private clubs, fraternal organizations and gyms to 25%; inside restaurants, libraries, funeral homes, swimming pools and shopping malls’ food courts to 50%; and inside religious services to 75%. Marion County Health Department requires preregistration for COVID-19 testing after increased demand at three drive-thru locations.
  • Nov. 18: Indiana records more than 275,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Nov. 20: Indiana’s death toll rises above 5,000.
  • Nov. 22: Indiana records more than 300,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Nov. 23: Indianapolis Public Schools returns to virtual learning through Jan. 18.
  • Nov. 24: The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball seasons begin; some games had no fans in the stands.
  • Nov. 26: Butler University men’s basketball cancels Nov. 29 game against Eastern Illinois after a positive COVID-19 test.
  • Nov. 27: Indiana’s death toll rises above 5,500.
  • Nov. 28: Butler University men’s basketball team postponed two more games because of a positive COVID-19 test.
  • Dec. 1: Indiana records more than 350,000 positive coronavirus tests. Bankers Life Fieldhouse hosts its first NCAA men’s basketball game, Kansas vs. Kentucky, since the start of the pandemic.
  • Dec. 2: Indianapolis ends its rental assistance program.
  • Dec. 4: Indiana’s death toll rises above 6,000.
  • Dec. 5: The men’s basketball game of No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2, Baylor at Bankers Life Fieldhouse is postponed 90 minutes before tipoff after two Bulldogs test positive.
  • Dec. 9: Indiana records more than 404,000 positive coronavirus tests. Gov. Holcomb says virus restrictions will now by county based on ratings that show the local virus spread. Indiana and Purdue universities cancel the Old Oaken Bucket football game set for Dec. 12.
  • Dec. 10: Indiana’s death toll rises above 6,500. Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Dec. 11: The Pacers lose to the Cavaliers as the NBA preseason begins. The Carmel Walmart in Westfield closes for nearly two days to sanitize the store.
  • Dec. 12: Ball State University President Geoffrey Mearns tests positive for the coronavirus.
  • Dec. 14: Health care workers receive the first coronavirus vaccinations in Indiana.
  • Dec. 15: Vice President Mike Pence holds a roundtable in Bloomington at pharmaceutical maker Catalent on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Indiana and Purdue again cancel the Old Oaken Bucket football game that’d been reset for Dec. 18.
  • Dec. 16: Indiana’s death toll rises above 7,000.
  • Dec. 17: Indiana records more than 452,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Dec. 20: The Indianapolis Colts allows up to 10,000 attendees at Lucas Oil Stadium for the team’s game against the Houston Texans.
  • Dec. 22: Indiana’s death toll rises above 7,500. Indiana records more than 476,000 positive coronavirus tests. NBA starts league’s 75th season, delayed and shortened to a 72-game schedule because of the pandemic.
  • Dec. 23: In response to the high volume of unemployment claims, Holcomb extends the suspension of certain requirements to expedite the hiring and training of temporary workers to more quickly resolve unemployment issues. Indiana Pacers to host first home game against New York Knicks with no fans present.
  • Dec. 28: Indiana records more than 500,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Dec. 30: Indiana’s death toll rises above 8,000.
  • Dec. 31: Indiana’s death toll for 2020 is 8,158.
  • Jan. 1, 2021: Indiana’s death toll rises above 8,200.
  • Jan. 2: Indiana records more than 526,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Jan. 3: The Indianapolis Colts allow 10,000 attendees at Lucas Oil Stadium for the team’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
  • Jan. 4: Grades 1-12 schools in Marion County are allowed reopen to in-person learning. Perry Township Schools is the only district to reopen to in-person learning.
  • Jan. 5: Indiana records more than 539,000 positive coronavirus tests. Purdue and Nebraska postpone a men’s basketball game over health and safety concerns.
  • Jan. 6: Indiana’s death toll rises above 8,500.
  • Jan. 7: Indiana records more than 552,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Jan. 8: Indiana’s death toll rises above 8,600. Indiana records more than 558,000 positive coronavirus tests. Hoosiers 80 and older start receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
  • Jan. 9: Indiana records more than 563,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Jan. 10: Indiana’s death toll rises above 8,700. Indiana records more than 567,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Jan. 11: Indiana records more than 570,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Jan. 12: Indiana records more than 574,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Jan. 13: Indiana’s death toll rises above 8,800. Indiana records more than 578,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Jan. 14: Indiana records more than 583,000 positive coronavirus tests.
  • Jan. 24: Holcomb’s emergency declaration and mask mandate set to end. Indiana Pacers will have about 1,000 fans at a game for first time since pandemic began.
  • Feb. 28: Indiana National Guardsmen to end assistance to long-term care facilities.
  • March 16: NCAA men’s March Madness games, all of them at venues in Indianapolis, Bloomington and West Lafayette, to start.

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