Marion County bars, nightclubs can reopen Tuesday—with restrictions

Bars and nightclubs in Marion County will be allowed to reopen Tuesday, but only under strict limitations, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Thursday morning.

The establishments have been closed under Hogsett’s order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, especially among young people.

Beginning Tuesday, they can reopen at 25% capacity indoors and 50% capacity outdoors. Bar-top service will still be closed, and no dancing or live entertainment will be allowed. Customers must be seated at tables containing no more than six patrons and are required to wear masks when walking around.

Bars and nightclubs also will have to close at midnight.

Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department, said social-distancing and mask requirements are widely ignored in bars after midnight.

“They’re lucky, because we looked at 11 p.m.,” she said.

Should a venue be found in violation of the public health order three times, it will be closed for a minimum of 30 days, health officials warned.

Marion County’s COVID-19 testing-positivity rate and hospitalizations have been on the decline in recent weeks, allowing the county to reopen more of the economy, Caine said.

But Mayor Joe Hogsett and Caine both warned it’s no time to relax, especially heading into Labor Day weekend. Following the Fourth of July, the county saw a large increase in cases.

Hogsett warned bars and nightclubs will remain open only if owners and customers follow the rules.

“I promise you that Dr. Caine and her team will go full footloose on your business if you’re operating as a dance club,” he said.

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22 thoughts on “Marion County bars, nightclubs can reopen Tuesday—with restrictions

  1. I’m in favor of measures intended to keep covid exposures down. I don’t believe people have a right to act irresponsibly and propagate this illness. But there is another point of view, and Virginia Caine’s remark, “They’re lucky, because we looked at 11 p.m.,” is blisteringly ignorant for an educated person to say. It will not foster compliance, only resentment. And statements like this add fuel to the argument that people are arbitrarily having their individual liberties stepped on without consideration. We need to keep up the battle, but we need better spokespeople pleading our cause.

    1. Well, don’t forget to add to her comment the one made by Mayor Hogs@#tt, “I promise you that Dr. Caine and her team will go full footloose on your business if you’re operating as a dance club,” These are the people leading Marion County!? I guess we should be happy that he came out of his bunker for a while! Problem is, while he was in his bunker, downtown Indy was destroyed, literally in some cases, (i.e. riots) and figuratively in other cases. (customer base of downtown) I don’t know if they will have to worry about the 25% capacity limit indoors with the recent surveys of people and their desire to go back downtown? But, all will be better, after he and other officials lead people on a clean-up effort downtown this Friday, and the inevitable announcement that “all is good now!!”

    2. MS I think you missed the point. There was due consideration. They looked at the reasons that bars are COVID hotspots, and are going to try this. The only thing that will change this will be new data. I suspect as cases rise and contract tracers talk to people and find out they stayed in a crowed bar right up til midnight with no mask, then the time will change to eleven, if we are lucky. If the cases rise too dramatically because people behave irresponsibility, then the bars may close again.

    3. Maybe “Boss Hogsett” will “allow us” to actually have a life in the next few years. The notion of dictatorship always comes to mind when I think of these little tin horned “lord wannabees” tell us how to live our lives. Even the New York times has had to come to terms with the faulty testing and fake numbers.
      My aunt and uncle, both in their seventies, have been exceptionally careful. They have worn masks and haven’t ventured out of their house for months and yet last week after having to visit their doctor for scheduled exams found out shortly thereafter that they had contracted COVID 19. All the distancing and masks you want to wear will not stop this virus. They are doing fine but no matter how much you try, it is more a matter of identifying the people that have it and isolating them than it is shutting things down. We need better, accurate tests and we need to keep the sick away from the healthy. Its just that simple. To quarantine everyone is something we will someday bow our heads in shame for doing someday.

  2. Sorry Dan, I don’t want to seem argumentative, but I got the point. And I tried to make it clear that I agreed with the point. But I fear you missed MY point. I’ll try to put it in plain terms. When a person in a position of authority puts forth an edict that a substantial percentage of the population are going to perceive as being unjustly rammed down their throat, it does not help the cause to say “you’re lucky we’re didn’t ram it down your throat farther”. It is just a poor way to gain compliance… and an even poorer way to govern.

  3. “‘They’re lucky, because we looked at 11 p.m.,’ Dr. Virginia Caine said.”
    Did she seriously say that?!? Does she not realize how many people in the bar/nightclub industry have lost their jobs and livelihoods due to the shutdowns? Does she not realize how many businesses had to permanently close? Does she not realize how much money these companies have lost since the shut downs started? Does she not realize how off target their profit margins will be even after reopening? Does she not realize how much money bars/nightclubs make between 12am and 3am?

    This decision does not directly impact me. But, her statement makes my blood boil. Talk about a power hungry leader who lacks empathy!

    1. Do you not realize that bars and nightclubs are, by far, the biggest causes of community outbreaks in businesses? I’d rather they lose money than risk people’s lives. I’m also someone who’s been in hospitality for 10 years and is furloughed until at least Oct 31st. Sure I’m suffering financially, but I realize it’s mostly because of an irresponsible % of the population that refuses to wear masks or practice social distancing. These restrictions on businesses would have all been gone shortly after the initial shutdown if people just acted responsibly. Instead the clubs ignored capacity restrictions and were packed with drunk people grinding on each other, making out, and obviously not wearing a mask. Hopefully they will act responsibly this time and won’t get themselves shutdown again. At least now they know it’s 3 strikes and you’re out.

    2. have you seen what’s happened in other places with bars open? i’d like to not have a complete outbreak hit the city and things shut down even more

    3. Jeff B. – spot on. Hogsett and Caine sound like bossy, entitled buerucrats, not like the type of leaders we need right now. Zero empathy. Hopefully voters go “full footloose” on Hogsett in the next election.

    4. Wesley – Yes, just like any other place in the world, there is an inherent risk of catching COVID in a bar/nightclub. I have an issue with what Dr. Caine said. It would be like me giving a homeless man $1. Then, telling him: “You are lucky; I was considering giving you only $0.50”.

      Levi – Yes. Do you know lots of bars in Indianapolis have remained open since early June because they serve food? Despite that, apparently Marion County’s numbers are improving enough to open up more businesses.

    5. Wesley, in true enlightened progressive fashion, adults can’t make decisions because only Wesley and Hogsett knows what is best. Wesley you realize if the open up you don’t have to show up. We understand you are fully invested in the propagandemic, so please stay home, wear your mask to bed, incessantly wash you hand 24/7 and last but not least social distant from you family, wife and children. The Rona is lurking at every corner so never go around the corner.

  4. It would be good if residence would pay as much attention to the other aspects of how the city and county operate with your tax dollars. Specifically all the TIF funding and incentives given to the same developers, over and over again. These tax funds that are given away come from property taxes, and if thing get short, it will be the average citizen that will be making up the difference.

  5. I don’t think anyone is advocating for allowing bars and other night spots to become drunken dens of debauchery. So much of getting others to do what you want them to do is convincing them of what’s in it for their benefit. I’m just saying a little more carrot and a little less stick. I like the word used in an earlier post…empathy. And I want to again remind some people following along, the other side of the argument is that people have a Constitutional right to do foolish things that can be detrimental to their health if they choose. Understand now, I feel legislation for the good of many can outweigh individual rights in certain circumstances, but that will always be a slippery slope. My whole point is to try to reach a consensus everyone can live with without some political appointee saying ill-conceived and inflammatory sound bites.

  6. Indiana Shamdemic Numbers In the 7th month as of today:

    3110 death out of 6,700,000 = 0.0004 death rate. Also significant, less than .01% of deaths are under 25 ( Most significant, of the 3110 deaths. 96% had at least one other co-morbidity.

    Vote accordingly. Your freedom is at stake.

  7. With 1110 new COVID-19 cases, where is the decline? I remember seeing 600+ and 800+ and the numbers climb but we are in decline?
    After Labor Day with the bars being open, Indiana will be in the red again. Hello?

    1. Where are the deaths, Lorna?! And, are they Covid deaths or do they have 2.3 co-morbidity causes and are over 80? Fear mongering……

  8. I just wish that Marion county was using the state guidelines of 75 % restaurant capacity and 50 % for bars. There is no significant statistical or scientific between Marion county and the rest of the state. And even with an increase in daily cases we are not seeing an increase in mortality.

    Just King Hogsett controlling his kingdom.

  9. So Ryan, you are only concerned with the number of deaths? What is with your 2.3 co-morbidity rate? Most people have another health factor going into play, most noteworthy, obesity. You are not overweight, under age 80, with no health issues, so bring it on? Expose us all and get it over with?
    Have you considered the Healthcare workers who have to care for these 1110 or do you think they all can just stay home and quarantine? Whether they die or not, there is risk to others who care for them, and the expense of the care. Many of your under 80 years who have recovered from the virus have acquired other health issues as a result. Fear mongering? Read up some more Ryan, and use some commonsense.

    1. Lorna, have you considered that health care workers and those working in our grocery stores everyday and are exposed to thousands of people have NO higher rate of
      C-19 than the general population, why is that?
      But I get it stay home, as for me i going to live like God is in control.

  10. Hogsett is a coward (as demonstrated by allowing riots in downtown) and is trying desperately to appear relevant. He is a boob elected by ignorant boobs in Marion County.

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