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WATCH: Indiana Gov. Holcomb, state officials hold afternoon COVID-19 briefing

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INDIANAPOLIS (WPTA21) - On the first day of "Stage 3" of easing restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Indiana Gov. Holcomb is hosting a coronavirus briefing Friday afternoon.

Flanked by State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box, Executive Director Indiana Department of Homeland Security Stephen Cox, Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Fred Payne, and Indiana Economic Development Corporation Chief of Staff Luke Bosso, the briefing will begin at 2:30 p.m.

You can watch the briefing live on ABC21 or on our livestream.

READ MORE: Gov. Holcomb’s updated ‘stage 3’ restrictions keep playgrounds closed; campgrounds open

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.

On Friday, Gov. Holcomb and his staff are confident we're ready to move to "Stage 3," but warns he will close things down again if the data shows a need to.

Starting Friday, May 22, most of the state will enter "Stage 3."

As the state lifts restrictions and more people return to work, visit a store or restaurant, and participate in more activities, health officials fully expect the number of COVID-19 cases will increase.

Gov. Holcomb said if these principles cannot be met, all or portions of the state may need to pause on moving forward or may need to return to an earlier phase of the governor’s stay-at-home order.

Even though Indiana is easing restrictions, health officials are still recommending Hoosiers wear a mask to protect themselves and others.

Here's what changes on Friday:

  • In Stage 3, Hoosiers 65 and over and those with high-risk health conditions – who are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus – should remain at home as much as possible. Face coverings in public places are recommended. Hoosiers who can work from home are encouraged to continue to do so.
  • Social gatherings of up to 100 people will be permitted following the CDC’s social distancing guidelines.
  • Retail and commercial businesses may open at 75% capacity. Shopping malls can open at 75% capacity with indoor common areas restricted to 50% capacity.
  • Gyms, fitness centers, yoga studios, martial arts studios, and similar facilities may open with restrictions. Class sizes should be limited. Equipment must be spaced to accommodate social distancing and cleaned after each use. No contact activities are permitted.
  • Community pools may open according to CDC guidance. Community tennis and basketball courts, soccer and baseball fields, YMCA programs, and similar facilities may open with social gathering and social distancing guidelines in place.
  • Community recreational youth and adult sports leagues may resume practices and conditioning while adhering to social gathering and social distancing guidelines. Contact sports, such as lacrosse and football, are prohibited, but conditioning and non-contact drills may take place.
  • Youth summer day camps may open on June 1.
  • Raceways may open with restrictions and no spectators.
  • Campgrounds may open restrictions, including social distancing and sanitation precautions. State park inns will reopen.
  • Restaurants and bars with restaurant services may continue to operate at 50% capacity, but bar seating must remain closed. Personal services such as hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors may continue to be open by appointment only and must follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Movie theaters and playgrounds, which had been projected to open in stage 3, will remain closed. Movie theaters are now projected to open along with other entertainment facilities and venues during stage 4. Playgrounds are to be determined.

Here's what stays closed:

• Playgrounds
• Overnight youth camps
• Bars and nightclubs
• Cultural, entertainment, and venues
• Amusement parks, water parks, and tourism sites
• Festivals, fairs, and parades
• K-12 buildings, facilities, and grounds closed
for school-sponsored education, sports,
and other activities through June 30; daycare
at school facilities encouraged to open
• Movie theaters

You can read the state's full guidance here:

Coronavirus resources

  • Click here for the latest CDC novel coronavirus resources and links.
  • Track the COVID-19 globally using this map tracker here.
  • You can view the latest Indiana COVID-19 numbers here.
  • Track Ohio's coronavirus numbers here.
  • Need to get tested? Click here to find a testing site near you.
  • You can catch up on the latest ABC21 coronavirus coverage here.
  • Sign up here for the latest local, state and national news regarding COVID-19.
  • Click here to sign up for ABC21 News and Weather Alerts

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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