Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Marion County Public Health Department on Wednesday announced the extension of the county’s “stay-at-home” order to May 1.
The order, which had been set to expire Monday, April 6, now states that all non-essential businesses are to remain closed through May 1.
Meanwhile, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has yet to extend the state’s stay-at-home order, which is set to expire Monday.
Additionally, the Marion County Public Heath Department has ordered the closure of all golf courses in the county beginning April 3. And all Indy Parks programming has been canceled through the end of April.
The extended stay-at-home order also applies to Marion County’s “warning” travel status, the highest level allowed under state law, which restricts travel except for emergency situations and for essential functions, which include to care for another individual, to purchase groceries, food or beverages, and to pick up of prescriptions.
“As the spread of COVID-19 continues in Marion County, the medical data makes clear that our fight against this deadly outbreak must continue for another month,” Hogsett said in written comments. “These historic efforts are making a difference, and I want to thank residents and businesses as we come together as one city and make sacrifices that will flatten the curve and save lives.”
Through Tuesday, Marion County had 1,117 cases of the novel coronavirus, the most of any county in the state. Altogether, Indiana had 2,565 cases and had recorded 65 deaths.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams has called Indianapolis an emerging “hot spot.” And cases in Indiana aren’t expected to hit their peak for another two weeks or so.
On Wednesday afternoon, Holcomb told reporters he hasn’t yet decided to extend the state’s stay-at-home order but to “expect a decision about that soon.”
Hogsett and Dr. Virginia Caine also released a letter to all essential businesses in Marion County, reminding them of social distancing guidelines and reinforcing the need to make changes in the workplace in order to create distance between employees performing essential functions. The letter states that essential businesses that fail to implement those guidelines risk the revocation of their essential status and right to remain open.
“COVID-19 has been one of the most significant public health challenges our community has ever faced,” Caine said in written comments. “We all want to resume a life that includes our favorite activities and time together with family and friends. By strictly adhering to these stay-at-home orders, we lessen the burden on our health care system and protect those who are most at-risk for complications from the virus. I urge everyone to do their part to slow the spread as we all deal with the effects of COVID-19.”
The Indianapolis City-County Council will have to authorize the extension of the renewed emergency declaration beyond the statutory limit of seven days, and Hogsett has asked it to convene an emergency meeting to do so.