UPDATE: Holcomb extends Stage 4.5 of Indiana’s recovery plan through Aug. 27

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday said he would issue an executive order to keep the state in Stage 4.5 of its pandemic recovery plan through Aug. 27.

In addition, Holcomb said he was extending the state’s landlord moratorium on evictions though Aug. 14. The moratorium, which prohibits landlords from initiating court proceedings to kick out their tenants, has been in effect since mid-March.

Holcomb will be extending Stage 4.5 for the second time. He first announced Stage 4.5 of the Back on Track plan on July 1. It was initially supposed to cover the period from July 4-17, but the governor on July 15 extended the stage for at least another two weeks, which means it could have expired Thursday without another extension.

Stage 4.5 was not part of the original Back on Track plan but was implemented when officials became wary of moving from Stage 4 to Stage 5, representing full recovery with no restrictions on business and social behavior.

Holcomb said the additional extension of Stage 4.5 to Aug. 27 was needed because Indiana’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate continues to rise. The current positivity rate is 6.8%, compared to a low of 4.5% in mid-June.

“We’re hopeful, but we have to do everything that we can,” Holcomb said.

Local governments are allowed to issue more stringent plans. In Indianapolis, Mayor Joe Hogsett has implemented tougher restrictions, including closing bars and nightclubs through at least Aug. 12 and limiting restaurants to 50% dining capacity.

Here is the plan, according to the state:

Stage 4.5 (through at least Aug. 27)

– Social gatherings, following the CDC’s social distancing guidelines, will be limited to up to 250 people. This limit applies to wedding receptions, parties, and other events where people are in close physical contact for extended periods of time, particularly indoors. But “special or seasonal events” such as summer concerts, outdoor movies showings, fairs, festivals, carnivals, parades, graduation ceremonies, conventions, fundraisers, sport or racing competitions, outdoor shows or other outdoor entertainment events, are allowed to have more than 250 people in attendance if a safety plan has been approved by local health officials in advance. This would apply, for example, to the Indianapolis 500, which is expected to run with 25% of the fans that attend a typical race on Aug. 23.

– Dining room food service may continue operations at up to 75% capacity as long as social distancing is observed. Bar seating in restaurants may operate at 50% capacity. Bars and nightclubs may operate at 50% capacity as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines.

– Cultural, entertainment and tourism sites may operate at 50% capacity.

– Movie theaters, bowling alleys and similar facilities may operate at 50% capacity.

—Gyms, fitness centers and other workout facilities may operate with restrictions.

 —Personal services, such as hair and nail salons, may operate with restrictions.

– Amusement parks, water parks and similar facilities may operate at 50% capacity. Reservations are encouraged to limit the number of customers at any one time.

– Raceways may operate at 50% grandstand capacity.

—K-12 schools are allowed to open and resume extra-curricular and co-curricular activities, but local school districts are allowed to choose to delay opening. In Indianapolis, schools are planning to start the year entirely virtually.

– Fairs, festivals and other similar outdoor events may open. Pari-mutuel horse racing and county and state fair racing may begin with 50% spectator capacity. Youth overnight camps may open.

—State government offices will open Aug. 17.

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20 thoughts on “UPDATE: Holcomb extends Stage 4.5 of Indiana’s recovery plan through Aug. 27

  1. Such “bold” statements and actions here. Even as the accuracy of COVID 19 testing is being questioned and being shown to be highly suspicious, we just continue on. Its gone from “14 days of caution” its now looking a lot like PERMANENT.

    1. What does accuracy of testing have to do with this? It doesn’t mean this virus isn’t real and isn’t killing people. Do you expect the accuracy of ANY test to be perfect when, in this case, we’re only 6 months into dealing with this virus? This doesn’t have to be permanent if people would just be careful, take social distancing seriously for a good 2-3 weeks and do their part to make this damn thing run its course.

    2. No state is at stage 5. Do you really think that with Indiana’s percentage of positive cases and number of deaths, it should be the first in the country to move to stage five? Crazy.

  2. Ok, Neil, you’re in charge. What’s your plan to keep your community safe and not look like Florida that has more cases than many countries, including 30,000 children?
    Throw around vague allegations of “suspicious“ testing? Open everything up and let it “just wash over us”?

  3. Dear Karens
    Please lock yourselves indoors and let us live our lives as we please.
    You can’t stop a virus. We have treatments and a VERY low mortality. Divide the number of Indiana deaths by the total population. What number do you get?

    1. You don’t understand what a “treatment” is. A repurposed drug and a steroid are welcome ways to reduce the severity of some cases but not “treatment”. If we had a treatment, we’d be opening society up.

      Lots of countries have made progress against the virus with real lockdowns. America didn’t lock down hard enough nor long enough so we are losing bigly. That’s why the rest of the world will no longer let Americans visit. We can turn the tide against the virus in 6-8 weeks any time we want to if we simply listen to the science, but we’ve got too many people with heads full of Faux News and Facebook misinformation which is why the virus is winning.

  4. The landlord part is being overlooked. What do the owners of property do when the bank is asking for them to pay the mortgage on the loan they have out. 6 months of no rent, then 60-90 days to evict someone, 9 months with no rent. Yes, very sympathetic to those who can’t pay because of job loss but what about those that are just free loading and choose not to pay and are just waiting it to be evicted. 9 months of free rent, and the landlord, the one paying the taxes on the property is out of luck and maybe lose the house.

    1. You are exactly right. Tenants will pay the highest price in the end for this foolishness. Big discrimination against Landlords. Unemployment and stimulus checks could pay the rent, stop lying to us.

    2. As a landlord, I’m basically 100% sure I can evict my tenants and get the money from the unpaid rent when the eviction restrictions are lifted. That’s what lawsuits are for. There is no law that says people can just skip rent forever. They still owe it once the forgiveness period is over. Luckily my tenants pay rent, but you probably shouldn’t be a landlord if you can’t afford the house/building when it isn’t rented out, or have a tenant that won’t pay. Plus, there are a lot of low interest loans and mortgage forgiveness programs for landlords right now too.

  5. The governor is doing way more damage than he probably realizes. Yes this is serious and yes we need to all do our parts but the constitution has guaranteed citizens rights and he does NOT have the authority to discriminate against a class of people and tell them how to run their business and that they cannot collect debts from others. If he does that he should command the banks to also defer their right to collect mortgage payments from property owners. How easily people let their rights be removed by a bureaucrat. I thought Indiana was supposed to be a conservative state? Not anymore…

  6. Do your part and sequester, wear masks, and social distance for a short time, and then we can say, we beat it and did not sacrifice people’s’ lives. Otherwise, you don’t care that people die. As long as they are not you.

  7. In Indiana, 99.52% of the people who tested positive for Covid 19, 59 years and younger, have survived Covid 19 to date.

    60-69- 93.87% have survived to date
    70-79- 84.92% have survived to date
    80+- 69.82% have survived to date

  8. Mary D. Is right, we need to stay home. Holcomb states 6.8% positivity rate when today it is 8.9%. Hello everyone!
    As long as bars and restaurants are allowing 50-75% capacity the positivity rate will continue to rise. We need to backup in stages instead of staying at 4.5. Why because the majority don’t get it and don’t want to do it.

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