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Marion County to lift majority of coronavirus restrictions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Marion County will be lifting a majority of COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Tuesday.

Bars, restaurants and sports venues will be allowed to operate at full capacity.

Masks will be recommended but not required for non-vaccinated individuals indoors. There will no longer be any social distancing requirements.

Colts owner Jim Irsay issued a statement in a news release: “We were fortunate to be able to host fans in 2020 through the pandemic, and those fans were as loud and proud as ever. But gamedays at Lucas Oil Stadium are like family reunions, and it wasn’t quite the same without our entire Colts family alongside us.”

Randy Lewandowski, president and general manager of the Indianapolis minor-league baseball team, said in a statement in a news release, “It has been a long, winding and challenging road to achieve a sense of normalcy at Victory Field. To look back at where our organization and community were a year ago during the pandemic to where we are now, it’s an incredible feeling to see Central Indiana and Victory Field – one of downtown Indy’s most iconic community gathering places – back on its feet.”

The latest data from the Indiana State Department of Health says 48.8% of Marion County’s residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated.

News release

“INDIANAPOLIS– This afternoon Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Public Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine announced that almost all COVID-related restrictions will be lifted on July 1 at 12:01 a.m. The move releases businesses, cultural institutions, live venues, and more from capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements. Guidance specific to schools during the upcoming semester is expected to be shared in the next several weeks.

“‘Today’s announcement marks a milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the efforts of our residents and businesses, Indy is ready to reopen,’ said Mayor Hogsett. ‘However, our work is far from over, and we will continue to implement new strategies to ensure all residents have accurate information and access to the vaccine.’

“The removal of restrictions was the product of a sustained decline in key public health trends, including a positivity rate below 2 percent, as well as a number of new cases below 30 per day. Other key indicators, including the hospitalization rate, death rate, and vaccination rate, allowed the Marion County Public Health Department and its partners to reach the conclusion that further reopening was possible.

“‘Looking at the totality of evidence, we are now in a position to further remove restrictions in Marion County,’ said Dr. Caine. ‘These changes are only possible because of the thousands of residents who have already received their vaccine. We continue to remind residents that the lifesaving vaccine is the best source of protection for yourself, your family, and your community.’

“As part of the lifting of restrictions, masks are no longer required indoors for unvaccinated individuals, although they are strongly encouraged by health experts. Based on federal regulations, masks will still be required at airports and while using public transportation. Individuals may also be required to wear masks in healthcare settings, and in private businesses that choose to continue requiring masks.

“To further reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19, health officials will continue efforts to increase vaccination rates in Marion County, including a $1 million investment in 86 different community organizations aimed at boosting vaccine rates in hard-to-reach neighborhoods. The Health Department also has an ongoing digital ad campaign targeting young people to get vaccinated, and continues to offer pop-up vaccine clinics, such as three held yesterday.”

News release from Marion County Public Health Department on June 29, 2021