INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Everyone is affected by the new coronavirus restrictions put into place by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Public Health Department director Dr. Virginia Caine.
Schools, restaurants, bars, night clubs, gyms and just about any place that is open to the public must limit the number of people inside their places of business.
The traffic in downtown Indianapolis was like any other weekday Thursday; people are out and moving around the city, which according to Hogsett, is not helping stop the spread of the virus.
Health officials on Thursday ordered schools in Marion County to move to virtual learning by Nov. 30 and through Jan. 18.
“I want to be clear, we are also seeing a fundamental shift from community spread in public places to infections that are occurring within private homes between extended family and friends,” said Hogsett.
Also effective at midnight Sunday, restaurants and funeral homes are limited to 50% capacity inside. Bars, gyms, museums, bowling alleys, movie theatres and other entertainment venues are limited to 25% capacity indoors. While 100% of outdoor seating is allowed at restaurants if there is a tent. Two sides of the tent must be open and limited to 6 people per table. Also, people are required to wear masks while moving around any business.
Health officials say another area of concern is Thanksgiving and other upcoming holidays.
“If weather allows, eat outside, don’t travel if you don’t have to leave the home and if you do travel to family gatherings please quarantine yourself upon your return to help stop the spread of the virus,” said Hogsett.
According to health officials, the number of cases started to increase in early October and continued right through the election. During the same time, Marion County voters stood in line, shoulder-to-shoulder and often for hours at a time. Caine said it is not clear yet if there is a correlation.
“What happens now, there is what’s called a fourteen days incubation, so you usually don’t see the impact from the voting until at least 2 to 3 weeks later,” said Caine.
This new public health order limits weddings, fairs, festivals, conventions or sporting events to 50 people, the exception being for events that have an approved safety plan from the Marion County Public Health Department.
Colts games at Lucas Oil Stadium will remain limited to 12,000.
This health order goes into effect midnight Sunday and unlike orders in the past, there is no expiration date. The restriction are in place until there are significant improvements in the number of cases.