Indiana entering final reopening stage

Coronavirus Watch Indiana

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)– The Vanderburgh County Health Department says since Thursday, there have been 73 new confirmed COVID-19 cases. This is a record for the county. Even during this uptick, restrictions will be lifted statewide including maximum capacity allowed for restaurants, malls and other venues.

On Saturday, the Hoosier state will be moving to stage five, the last level in the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan. This means there won’t be a limit to how many people can be at an event, sporting events can start back up, and businesses can operate at full capacity.

Terri Carl, the owner of Leroy’s Tavern, said her business will continue to clean, take worker’s temperatures, and wear masks. They are encouraging others to do the same.

“We always ask patrons to wear their mask while entering and then you can take them off while you are seated and drinking and enjoying the food,” explained Carl. The restaurant and bar will also be going back to regular menus. “And then we will sanitize them between each use.”

Masks will still be required to wear in public when you can’t social distance until October 17. It could be longer depending on how many people test positive for COVID-19.

Gatherings of 500 people or more must be approved by the health department. Old National Events Plaza’s staff members told Eyewitness news they are preparing for their next public event, a WWE match in December.

“We will continue to supply the health department with our plans but events will look different for the foreseeable future until there is a resolution,” said Ginger Harper Director from the Old National Events Plaza.

Venue workers will continue cleaning, while figuring out systems to decrease highly touched surfaces. They are also arranging seating in a way where people are kept six feet apart from strangers. This will change the way tickets are sold.

“When we are looking at concert events, pods of tickets will be sold in the future,” said Harper. This way seating can be arranged in a way to keep families and friends together, but away from people they don’t know, limiting exposure.

Since the announcement of gathering restrictions being lifted, many brides are already trying to lock down their wedding and reception venues.

“It’s way early for wedding season, normally it starts during thanksgiving. Folks are already ready to book the weddings for next year and 2022,” said Harper.

Even though we are progressing to the next stage, the Vanderburgh County Health Department wants to remind everyone locally, of a current surge of positive cases. Everyone still needs to be wearing their mask and washing their hands to help flatten the curve.

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(This story was originally published on September 25, 2020)

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