INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — All but five Indiana counties – Fulton, Putnam, Monroe, Crawford and Switzerland – will be under new pandemic restrictions beginning Nov. 15.
The state will impose capacity limits on social gatherings and some school events but will not order businesses to close, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday.
More than 2,500 Hoosiers were hospitalized Wednesday with COVID-19. The state is experiencing its highest levels of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to health officials.
The state’s 7-day test positivity rate jumped from 3.9% in September – when the governor lifted most restrictions and allowed the state to enter the final stage of his phased reopening plan – to 10.3% in November.
“Stage 5 has been viewed by some as a reason to return to the days before we ever heard the words ‘COVID-19’ or pandemic in a modern sense,” Holcomb said Wednesday during a virtual Statehouse briefing.
The state will move away from the phased “Back on Track” plan and instead use a four-tiered, color-coded map to determine pandemic restrictions.
No Indiana counties are currently shown in blue, the least dangerous tier.
The state will allocate $20 million to help local governments – including towns, cities and counties – with public awareness, event review and compliance efforts.
ISDH’s methodology for county metrics
Orange county restrictions
Social gatherings, whether indoors or outdoors, for orange counties will be limited to 50 people. Commercial indoor events larger than that will need approval from local health departments.
Indoor K-12 extracurricular and co-curricular activities will be limited to 25 percent capacity in orange counties.
Red county restrictions
Red counties will be limited to 25 people. Events larger than 25 people will need approval from the county’s health department. However, the state is advising events to not be held in red counties, including college and professional sports.
K-12 events, including IHSAA events, will be limited to participants, support personnel and parents/guardians.
Local officials may continue to limit hours for bars, nightclubs and restaurants.
Hospitals and long-term care facilities may impose limitations on visits.
These are the counties currently in red:
Here are the slides presented by the Indiana State Department of Health during Wednesday’s press conference.