INDIANA (WPTA21) - Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb says Hoosiers have "earned" the right to move on to what he's calling "Stage 3" of his plan to reopen the state's economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Holcomb will sign an executive order Thursday to ease restrictions on Hoosiers a few days earlier than planned ahead of the holiday weekend.
With the exception of Marion, Lake and Cass Counties, Indiana is moving to "Stage 3" on Friday, May 22.
Those three counties will enter "Stage 3" on June 1.
Gov. Holcomb and Indiana Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said COVID-19 data makes them confident this is the right move.
"Hoosiers have done an amazing job," Dr. Box said
"As the governor said earlier, you deserve to go to stage 3."
Even though Indiana is easing restrictions, health officials are still recommending Hoosiers wear a mask to protect themselves and others.
Gov. Holcomb said back on May 1 that in order to reopen the economy, four things must happen: the state must monitor the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, retain the capacity to treat a surge of patients, have the ability to test all Hoosiers who are COVID-19 symptomatic and have the ability to contact trace all cases.
He laid out a five-stage approach to get the state's economy back on track by Independence Day.
For 18 days, most of Indiana has been in what he called "Stage 2."
In part because coronavirus numbers are holding steady and advancements in testing, Gov. Holcomb said Indiana will be moving to "Stage 3" on Friday.
So, what does that mean?
For one, gyms are allowed to open with restrictions.
Here's what else opens:
- Social gatherings of up to 100 people
- Gyms, YMCA's, fitness studios may open with restrictions
- Community pools, campgrounds may open
- Recreation sports practices may begin following guidelines (contact sports like football and lacrosse are prohibited)
- Basketball, tennis, soccer and baseball courts and fields may open
- Campgrounds may open Friday morning
- Youth summer day camps may begin June 1
- Raceways can begin competition with no spectators
- State park inns will reopen
- Restaurant dining rooms remain open at 50% capacity
- Retail stores and malls may move to 75% of capacity while maintaining social distancing
- Mall common areas, such as food courts and sitting areas, are limited to 50% capacity
Hoosiers who are 65 and older or people at risk are asked to remain cautious and to reduce their exposure.
The state is expected to release new documentation on the eased restrictions on its website Back On Track Indiana.
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