EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said he hopes to have the state back on track in a couple of months, after ordering hoosiers to hunker down and stay at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The more than 1,000 hoosiers we have lost to this disease are not numbers; they are grandparents, parents, our children, friends and neighbors, our loved ones,” Holcomb said.
Governor Holcomb said he hopes the state will be on track to re-open by July 4, and he introduced a five stage reopening plan.
Social gatherings of up to 25 people will be allowed and restaurants can open at 50 percent capacity by May 11.
Holcomb said people 65 years of age or older – and those at high risk should remain home as much as possible.
“To ensure we can make steady continued progress getting Indiana back on track, we will continue to watch our number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and make sure they are diminishing,” Governor Holcomb said. “That we retain sufficient critical equipment (PPE), that we are able to test all citizens who might be symptomatic and that we can track those who test positive.”
Starting May 8, worship services can resume as long as social distancing is in place.
Stage 3 will begin on May 24 with pools, playgrounds, campgrounds and gyms allowed to reopen with social distancing restrictions.
If still on track – the Governor said by the time Stage 4 begins June 14 – face coverings will be optional.
“We will be cautious and make the best decisions for Hoosiers based on the situation at that very moment,” he said.
By July 4, the 5th and final stage should begin. Holcomb said remote work will be optional. He said fairs, festivals and sporting events will be allowed to resume.
“There is nothing that we can not do when we work together and I truly believe because of what we will do together, future historians will look back on this moment and say for Hoosiers this was their finest hour,” Governor Holcomb said.
The Governor said he will decide how to approach the next school year by July 4.
He said the stages of reopening are all subject to change depending on new guidance and information about the pandemic. You can view a full list of the reopening stages here.