Fishers to consider restrictions amid spike in COVID-19 infections

The city of Fishers is urging residents to stay home and is considering new restrictions—including canceling extracurricular school activities and limiting many indoor gatherings to 10 people—to try to stem a steep rise in the count of COVID-19 cases.

And in a video released early Wednesday, Mayor Scott Fadness said it is vigilant social distancing and wearing masks, even around family and friends, that could prove to be the most important in slowing the spread of the virus. In fact, he said families must begin to rethink their holiday plans to stay safe.

“We need to be as careful in private as we are in public,” Fadness says in the video, posted on his Twitter account. That means having “hard conversations about our holiday plans this year.”

“It won’t be easy. I know that,” he said. “We’re all feeling the fatigue of these long months.

Fishers Public Health Director Monica Heltz said Tuesday night she will ask the Fishers Board of Health to approve a list of new restrictions at a Friday afternoon meeting. Those restrictions do not include a stay-at-home order. Instead, the city is recommending that residents stay home, except for outings related to work, grocery shopping and other important activities.

The health department has been using factors such as the positivity rate, number of cases and hospitalizations to determine the city’s coronavirus risk level. Fishers’ risk rating is listed as “severe,” or “red,”—its most severe rating.

According to the city’s pandemic data dashboard, there have been 477 new positive cases and one new death from COVID-19 reported in Fishers over the last two weeks. The city’s rolling seven-day testing-positivity rate, based on the Hamilton County rate published by the state, was 16.6% for testing of unique individuals and 10.3% for all tests.

But Fadness said taking action can improve the numbers.

“Our data shows that mitigation efforts work when we do them,” he said in the video.

The Fishers Health Department said social gatherings have been identified by contact tracers as the primary source of the spread. It said infections are widespread throughout the community without any concentrated areas, and people of all ages appear to be equally affected. The department continued to say there is a strong indication that schools remain a safe place for students in terms of the likelihood of transmission.

The health department’s recommendations include a public health order that would:

  • cancel school-sponsored extracurricular activities;
  • prohibit bar seating at restaurants and taverns;
  • limit table seating at restaurants to eight people;
  • mandate that masks be worn at restaurants until food arrives except for temporary removal for drinking beverages (current mask guidelines don’t call for mask-wearing at tables);
  • limit sporting events to one spectator per participant;
  • limit groups to eight people or less at confined entertainment facilities, to 10 people at indoor social gathering in banquet halls or conference centers, and to 25 people maximum at outdoor gatherings.

Heltz said the health board should recommend the general population:

  • avoid gatherings in homes, workplaces and churches;
  • stay at home except for essential services;
  • use curbside delivery, carryout or home delivery;
  • work from home and increase sanitation protocols.

She also plans on recommending gyms and retail establishments have special hours for high-risk individuals.

For schools, she’s recommending new requirements in the significant (orange) and severe (red) risk categories. Heltz recommends all school-sponsored extracurricular activities to be canceled any time the city’s risk level is “severe.” She’s also recommending an entire class be quarantined if even one case is found among its students.

Friday’s 4 p.m. Fishers Health Department meeting will be live-streamed at https://tinyurl.com/FishersCityHall. The recorded meeting will be available 24 to 48 hours following the meeting on the city’s YouTube channel.

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5 thoughts on “Fishers to consider restrictions amid spike in COVID-19 infections

  1. Wait a minute! I thought the media was going to drop coverage and “this Covid thing” would simply go away after the election since it was just a hoax. Maybe another wrong call on Covid.

  2. New record numbers every day!!!! How many citizens are we going let get sick, and how many are we going let die? It really is as simple as that.
    However, let me try to understand the logic of the State response to the surging pandemic: Stage 5 is okay. Our focus, per Dr. Box, is to increase the amount of healthcare staff and healthcare capacity to take care of the increasing number of sick people. Oh by the way, please wear you mask, pretty please!! (I love it when Health Commissioner, who recently got over COVID-19 episode, has only this to offer to curb the raging pandemic in our State.
    As I have said before our State needs outside expertise (e.g. Dr. Anthony Fauci) to tell us citizens the REAL status of our State’s current plan to mitigate the pandemic of our State. The current “experts” from State outside of government (e.g. IU) have done little more than to create a bunch of numbers that are totally not understood by the common lay person.
    There needs to a ground swell of outrage from the medical community (i.e. hospital, physicians, medical organizations, nursing organization, pharmacists, etc.) to force a change in how our State is handling the pandemic.
    The State has the money to finance, through the Care ACT, to fund a more comprehensively plan to provide all the necessary tools (PPE, testing, contact tracing, etc.) to get the situation under control.
    A responsible government would be able to balance the economy AND public health. Indiana appears not to be able to multi-task. A responsible State government would be able to do both. (As a small business owner, I have lost at least 50% of my income for the year. I know the financial consequences of the pandemic. It took months as the beginning to obtain the necessary amount of PPE to keep my employees and customers safe. I have been able to keep the staff intact as well. However, one does not know what the future will bring)
    Hopefully, with the election over for the State, our local leaders will begin to multi-task. Frankly, I do not expect any progress. With the flu season beginning and with more indoor events, we need to expect that things are just going to get worse.
    Everyone for our State should realize that our current situation was avoidable. Letting things get worse by this State’s administration is UNCONSCIONABLE and INDEFENSIBLE.
    Everyone should re-watch the scene from “NETWORK” where Peter Finch gives a speech that still resonates today. Here is the YOUTUBE link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwMVMbmQBug

  3. Very myopic view. What is happening here is also happening in other states and other countries around the world. Until the vaccine is rolled out this pandemic is not going away. If you want the Gov to shut everything down you won’t have a small business. This is a delicate balancing act. It’s easy to find fault. It’s much harder to find people people who are willing to stick their neck out and try to find a solution. If Holcomb was doing such a lousy job I don’t think 58% of Hoosiers would have voted to re-elect him.

  4. Larry P. That 58% of Hoosiers are Republicans and they vote only for Republicans. Indiana is a RED state.
    Good points Phillip T. I can only imagine your pain.
    And Jennifer s., I also had a lady in that very same Walmart you mentioned, reach in front of me for an item with her mask down around her neck. People wear a mask where it is required to get in the door but they do not social distance or have respect for others.
    I am tired of people griping and callously saying the mortality rate is only % because you have not lost a loved one or a friend. And that we need to let the virus run its course, herd immunity. Shut up, and do what you’re suppose to do. Wear a mask, and have some compassion and consideration for others. And don’t tell me to stay home if I’m scared.

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