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Noble County Health Department to add new COVID-19 restrictions

Indiana color coded grade 11 18 2020
Many more counties in Indiana have turned to the highest-risk grade for COVID-19 spread.

NOBLE COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) - Noble County is the latest local health department to issue additional COVID-19 restrictions as infections and hospitalizations are surging in the region.

Indiana's online COVID-19 dashboard has a color-coded grade for each county based on the 7-day positivity rate for all tests and weekly cases per 100,000 residents.

The map updates weekly on Wednesday with a new grade.

In a recent executive order, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said counties in the "orange" zone will be limited to gatherings of 50 people or less, and those counties in the "red" zone will be restricted to gatherings of 25 people or less.

Per Gov. Holcomb's order, his administration asked social gatherings be postponed or canceled, but if that isn't possible, here are the restrictions:

  • Blue: Capped at 250 with approval from local health department
  • Yellow: Capped at 100 with approval from local health department
  • Orange: Capped at 50 with approval from local health department
  • Red: Capped at 25 with approval from local health department

His administration also paved the way to let local governments impose stronger restrictions if they so choose.

This week, most of Indiana's 92 counties are in the second-highest risk zone, while many communities are in the "red."

Noble County is currently in the "orange" this week, which means community spread of the virus is high.

The Noble County Health Department issued a public health order that will add additional restrictions on big events, bars, restaurants, and gyms if the county finds itself in the "red."

The Health Department will not accept gathering plans with an expected participant list of 250 people in the "orange zone" and 100 people in the "red."

If the county goes "red," restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other places serving food and drinks are ordered:

  • Capacity is limited to 50 percent indoors; outdoor capacity can remain at 100 percent
  • Establishments must be closed and cleared of customers between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Bar seating is closed. Table seating only.
  • Table seating is limited to 10 people per table, and tables must be spaced at least 6 feet away from other tables
  • Self-service food stations are not permitted unless staff member serves patrons

If the county goes "red," gyms and fitness centers are asked to operate at 50 percent capacity.

Per the order, Noble County must stay in a lower-risk category for two consecutive weeks before being allowed to move to that level.

"Every citizen should follow mask, hand hygiene and distancing guidelines to help slow down the virus that is filling our hospitals and even killing the most vulnerable among us." Noble County Health Officer Dr. Terry Gaff said. "You can help us get through this dangerous time, and you should."

This order takes effect Sunday and expires on Dec. 12, 2020.

You can read the public health order here:

Noble-County-PUBLIC-HEALTH-ORDER-11.2020

Allen County announced new restrictions on bars, restaurants, gyms, and large events earlier this week.

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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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