Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: Officials in Indiana, US, to ease multiple restrictions Sept. 26 due to a decrease in COVID-19 activity.

Alert Begins 24 Sep 2020 11:39 AM UTC
Alert Expires 15 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Indiana (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business disruptions likely

Summary
Authorities in Indiana will ease multiple restrictions, currently in place to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on Sept. 26. The state will move to Stage 5 of its economic recovery plan, which lifts capacity limits on businesses. All residents over the age of seven must continue to wear a protective face mask whenever they are in indoor public settings, on public transportation, or in outdoor settings where social-distancing measures are not possible, until at least Oct. 17.

Under Stage 5, businesses such as restaurants, movie theaters and other indoor entertainment centers, and gyms and fitness centers can operate without capacity limits. However, businesses are still required to maintain physical-distance measures, which will likely limit the amount of customers allowed to enter. Bars and nightclubs can also open without capacity limits, but customers must be seated. Limits on social gatherings will also be lifted, though events with more than 500 people will require a permit from local health authorities.

All businesses must retain 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. Protective personal equipment must also be provided.

Local officials could impose more restrictive measures if they consider it necessary within their jurisdictions. Authorities in Marion County, including the city of Indianapolis, are maintaining stricter restrictions than elsewhere in the state: bars and nightclubs can operate at 25-percent capacity indoors, and up to 50 percent using outdoor seating. Indoor services at restaurants must be limited at 50-percent capacity. Gyms and sports and entertainment venues can operate at 25-percent capacity, and shopping malls and retails stores may open at 75-percent capacity. Social gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited, except for weddings and other pre-planned receptions, and any type of gathering of more than 250 people is banned. Additionally, officials recommend travelers entering Marion County from Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota, as well as from countries with high COVID-19 activity, to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Authorities may loosen restrictions or impose additional ones depending on COVID-19 activity.

Advice
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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