Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Indiana, US, to ease restrictions on additional businesses and activities starting May 22.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Evansville, Indiana
  • Columbus, Indiana
  • South Bend, Indiana
  • Valparaiso, Indiana
  • Terre Haute, Indiana
  • Bloomington, Indiana
  • Lafayette, Indiana

This alert began 21 May 2020 15:45 GMT and is scheduled to expire 02 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: COVID-19 Restrictions
  • Location(s): Indiana (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Movement restrictions, significant transport and business disruptions, heightened security

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced that Stage 3 of the state's recovery plan will start May 22, with the easing of restrictions on additional businesses and activities. The restrictions have been in place as part of the administration's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). On Stage 3, residents 65 years and older and those with underlying health conditions should continue to limit time outside their homes, and all residents are encouraged to keep working from home whenever possible and to wear face coverings when in public. Gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed, as long as social distancing measures remain in place. Limitations of travel will be lifted.

Starting May 22, the following businesses will be allowed to operate under the following regulations:

  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Playgrounds and sports facilities
  • Community pools
  • Campgrounds
  • Movie theaters at 50-percent capacity
  • Office-based businesses, staggering shifts and encouraging work from home whenever possible
  • Racetracks, with no spectators

Additionally, retail stores and malls can increase capacity to 75 percent, and common areas in malls may allow up to 50 percent of their maximum capacity. Bars and nightclubs, cultural, sports and entertainment venues, and children facilities will remain closed. Stage 3 is scheduled to remain in place through at least June 13.

Other businesses and services that have been allowed to operate since early May are:

  • Restaurants, limited to 50 percent their seating capacity
  • Personal care services such as barbershops and beauty salons, by appointment only
  • Manufacturing, industrial and constructions businesses

All businesses must introduce health-screening measures for employees, enhance cleaning and disinfecting protocols, enhance the ability of employees and customers to wash or sanitize their hands, and ensure compliance with social distancing requirements.

Lake, Marion, and Cross counties may delay entering Stage 3 until June 1, due to higher COVID-19 activity within their jurisdictions.

Transport and business disruptions are likely. Officials could amend the order on short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The relaxation of some measures will likely accelerate in the coming weeks; however, restrictions may be reimposed or extended further should the number of COVID-19 cases increase. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Confirm appointments. Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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