UPDATE: Marion County to enact new restrictions after surge in COVID-19 cases

Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, Marion County will implement new pandemic-related restrictions on Friday, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Thursday.

The restrictions will prevent in-person pre-K-12 class instruction at schools until at least Aug. 5 and limit shopping mall and retail-store capacity to 75%.

Beginning Monday, they will limit social gatherings, including wedding receptions, banquets, club meetings and any event where people come together to socialize other than religious services, to 50 people. Indoor religious ceremonies including funerals can operate at up to 50% capacity, and outdoor services can continue without capacity restrictions as long as social distancing is observed.

Among other changes:

– Bars and nightclubs will close through at least Aug. 12.

– Restaurant dining rooms will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity, and all restaurants must close between midnight and 5 a.m. Bar seating at restaurants will be closed.

– Personal services such as hair salons and nail parlors will operate by appointment only.

– Gyms, fitness centesr and yoga and dance studios will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity.

– Tourism, cultural, entertainment and sports venues must reduce capacity to 25% of venue occupancy.

– Nursing homes must remain closed to indoor visitors.

The mask mandate that went into effect July 9 stands and is now bolstered by a statewide mask mandate that takes effect Monday.

The city is not currently implementing any travel restrictions but recommends that residents who travel to states or nations with heightened rates of infection should self-quarantine for 14 days upon returning to the city.

Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department, said the restrictions are returning in order to “get ahead of this” and prevent any needless hospitalizations or deaths.

“We’re doing some good things, but it is not enough,” she said. “The data we are seeing in Marion County does not paint the same picture it did several weeks ago.”

Since July 4, the number of new COVID-19 cases, the test-positivity rate and emergency room visits with COVID-19 symptoms have been rising.

And the age demographics are shifting, with 55% of cases now occurring in those 40 and under.

Caine said the number of new cases in a day hit its lowest point June 24 at 45, but the average is now 100 new cases a day.

Meanwhile, the number of hospitalizations and deaths has been flat or dropped.

Caine said since the July 9 mask mandate went into effect, the department has received 249 complaints about businesses or individuals not wearing masks. More than half of them—141—were complaints about restaurants and bars where patrons were not masked and not social distancing, she said.

Caine said while she doesn’t want to put new restrictions in place, she has no choice but to take “aggressive actions” to save people’s lives.

“Despite the sacrifices many of us have made, there are just too many of us willing to risk people’s lives,” she said.

Hogsett said residents, particularly younger ones, must do better for their city, especially if they want bars and clubs to reopen. He urged them to wear masks.

“If you are fortunate enough to be young and healthy, keep in mind that many of your neighbors aren’t,” he said.

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48 thoughts on “UPDATE: Marion County to enact new restrictions after surge in COVID-19 cases

  1. This POS is literally trying to destroy our great city. Common sense says wear masks and socially distance ourselves – we don’t some reactive idiot dictating what we can and cannot do! He needs to be removed from office – what has he done for any of the business owners downtown whose businesses were destroyed by the “peaceful protestors”? Totally unfit to lead our city…

    1. Michael-You have to keep an eye on those church goers. Rioters can do as they please when they please. Warren Township, which is an extremely well school, plans to implement Hybrid learning. Most districts were too lazy to bother with this.

  2. Joe- What about your million dollar tax payer funded ad campaign to get people back to town. Refund? I have an idea: let’s buy more IndyGo busses. Surely your sheeple will want to ride mass transit now. Hard to believe you’ve never had a real job.

    1. He addressed that. It is still going although they may back-load the spending. He said they still need people coming to town to the restaurants that are open. (I wouldn’t say he gave a good answer, but he gave an answer)

  3. 4 months of progress down the drain thanks to the know-nothings who wouldn’t wear a mask and had to get back to normal ASAP. So we didn’t close down hard enough nor long enough. They’ve done more economic damage than any riot, and thanks to them, our kids will spend another three months at home. But, hey, freedom!

    1. Spot on! Joe! They want to blame everyone but themselves. They are the ones doing the damage. You can’t fix STUPID

    2. Thank you! So tired of the temper-tantrum throwing toddlers who have set us backwards.

  4. This move has nothing to do with socialism or poor leadership. Actually this is GREAT leadership. Now if we can get the idiotic naysayers to wear masks, social distance, and stay home, maybe we can get back to the life we all want to enjoy. Until then, don’t blame people who want to help us survive – blame the selfish tone-deaf citizens who keep us in danger and chaos!

    1. We had two people enter the deli yesterday without masks. They were in their 70s. We offered them free masks and they gave me the finger and left. However, Hogsett needs to spend more of the Care Money that was allocated to Indy directly. There is still $60M left that has to be spent before 12/31.

    2. And yet JoAnne if you quarantined at home it would not matter what We the People who cherish freedom and liberty do in public. You see I am an adult and can assess the risk with out a politician telling me what I should or should not do in public. If you have your false security mask on an it makes feel safe, great. The research in NO way supports the use of a face covering to prevent the spread of C-19, nothing.

    3. Steve R, is that true? There is research showing the masks aren’t effective? Please share, I do really want to read it.

    4. Steve R. When you show your work to this point, please don’t c&p internet memes. Scientific, peer reviewed data from legitimate sources would be helpful. Thanks

    5. Steve R., whole family of health professionals here. Your statement is completely and totally false. But if you get your information from Facebook or Fox News, it’s understandable. You’ve been misled, my friend.

    6. Steve R. Which studies are you referencing? Fox News is not a credible scientific news source.

    7. Per Honewell’s N95 site. An N95 (medical grade respirator) captures 95% @.3 microns. The Covid-19 virus is .125 microns or almost 3 times smaller than .3. So if you took a tennis net and reduce a tennis ball by 2/3rds would the ball through the net, everybody say yes. And since a N 95 only captures 95% at .3 the efficentcy rating would drop exponentially. An N95 (MGR) must be properly fit and handle to not transmit. So just basic math tells you that any than less would be literally useless. And who has been trained on proper handling and disposal, NO ONE.

    8. A cloth mask is intended to trap droplets that are released when the wearer talks, coughs or sneezes. Asking everyone to wear cloth masks can help reduce the spread of the virus by people who have COVID-19 but don’t realize it.

      Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus when they are widely used by people in public settings. And countries that required face masks, testing, isolation and social distancing early in the pandemic have successfully slowed the spread of the virus.


    9. Steve R.
      This is what your link says:
      “Editor’s Note (June 2 at 11:30 a.m.): A paper discussed below has been retracted by the journal the Annals of Internal Medicine. The authors wrote that their statistical methods could not determine whether the findings were reliable, making the results of the small study “uninterpretable.” The study had found that surgical and cotton masks do not effectively contain viral droplets containing SARS-CoV-2. Subsequent research has suggested that face masks are an effective method for containing the spread of the virus, used along with staying six feet apart from other people.”

  5. I’m so glad government is being pro-active on this. The infection spread is rising. Hopefully these steps will prevent further spread and the necessity for another shelter-in-place order.

    The refusal of some residents AND businesses to respect mask-wearing and social distancing has brought us to this point. That’s self-defeating. I refuse to return to businesses who don’t enforce these safety precautions and always politely tell them so. Here’s hoping that the Governor’s state-wide mask mandate and these actions from Marion County convince more people to take the precautions to save lives and businesses too.

  6. Wow, Bryan. 2 people out of millions helping the 4 million affected. Hope our medical experts aren’t relying on that stat. The virus s not political. It’s life and death.

  7. A reminder that Republican Eric Holcomb is behind the Indiana state mask mandate.

    We know what to do to shut the virus down. Other countries have followed what our scientists have laid out as the game plan. We just don’t do it because of the Know-Nothing Party aka the Trumpublicans. SAD!

  8. My wife works in southside Indy as a medical practitioner and is seeing the uptick in the past week or two. Their count of patients testing positive a month or two ago had dropped quite a bit, but they are seeing the counts creep back up again. It’s not a joke.

  9. The problem wearing masks in restaurants is the cross contamination that it can cause. Normally people would go wash their hands, but now you can only go wash your hands with a mask on, then you take your mask off at the table, handle it and either put it in your pocket, in your purse or lay it on the table or chair or booth next to you. CROSS CONTAMINATION. Eyes are the easiest/most common way to contract a virus, so your masks are pretty useless and especially a general mask or basic respirator.

  10. Ignorant and power-hungry. I am very sad what’s happening to my beloved city; decades of progress are being destroyed because our mayor is to cowardly step against party orthodoxy.

  11. I imagine all these COVID-deniers in the comments will change their tune the second some idiot on Fox News gets the virus. Then somehow it will be Dems’ fault – “They didn’t shut down fast enough! They should have forced me to comply! They should have tread on me!”

  12. A neighbor has a 42 yo ICU bed ridden colleague. He has never had a single health issue in his life. He was healthy until Covid. He has been able to stay off a vent, but that is his only saving grace.

    This ain’t the flu no matter that your favorite right wing talking head may indicate otherwise.

  13. Good for you Hogwash, this should put the final nail into the coffin of any business operating downtown. You almost had them all closed down but a pesky few reopened. Mission accomplished to destroy downtown and return it to nothing land. Glad I don’t own a condo downtown.

  14. I’m tired of the mask discussion. It’s a waste of time. We all want real, honest, non-politicized data. From the source.
    Governor and Mayor Pothole, please have all healthcare facilities post the following direct on their websites.
    IU Health, Franciscan, Ascension, Community, Lutheran, Parkview, Memorial, etc. from March 15th to date:
    ▶️ Total patients tested for COVID-19 since the pandemic began (includes pending tests)
    ▶️ Total positive tests
    ▶️ Tests pending (waiting for results)
    ▶️ Current inpatients that are COVID-19 positive
    ▶️ Total COVID-19 patients discharged
    ▶️ COVID-19 patients discharged in the last 24 hours
    Then please post ICU inpatients (or percentage from the same time period in 2019.
    The public can decide with accurate data. Not epidemiologists with an agenda.

  15. What is with the overly emotional reaction regarding wearing a mask? It is such a simple thing to do. We are in the infancy of this pandemic and still in data-collection mode. Drawing inferences is premature. I’m shaking my head at all the armchair medical experts. This is certainly shining a light on irrational and selfish children in adult bodies.

  16. At the end of the day, we live in the greatest country in the world and though we may not agree on all the workings and outcomes we still have the opportunity to express our views. I appreciate the comments and thoughts that have gone into them. We the People of this great country have the tenacity and mental aptitude to work through this C-19 as we have a multitude issue. Staying engage in the conversation is more vital than your opinion. As iron sharpens iron, man can sharpen man (man meaning mankind not gender).

    1. You’re welcome to your opinions but there’s only one set of facts. And “we the people” are better off to nip this whole “there’s no one truth” and “my feelings matter more than the facts” nonsense in the bud. That’s the root of the issue this country is facing. Just look at the litany of nonsense and fake news in this thread. Get off the Facebook and the Fox News and consume some real, diverse sources.

      We won’t listen to the people – scientists – closest to the current truth, the people who EVERY DAY are learning more about the virus. So we’re getting what we’ve got coming to us, and the virus will continue to kick our rear until we listen to the scientists. It’s very simple – in countries where they listen to the scientists, they have it under control. Where they refuse to listen (or in a few cases, don’t have the means to listen), the virus is winning.

  17. Joe I didn’t realize you had TDS until I went back and reread the thread. No facebook, dont watch TV so those two are out. What else do you have for me. Please remind who we are supposed to believe Gates/Fauci/CDC establishment or those who get paid to deliver an predetermined outcome.i.E. John’s Hopkins.