The state has issued verbal warnings to 80 businesses accused of violating Gov. Eric Holcomb’s most recent stay-at-home order—which requires most companies to either close or provide curbside service only.
Holcomb said during his daily media briefing on Thursday that the state has received 214 complaints about companies that are not following his directive that only “essential” businesses continue operating right now.
Hoosiers have been ordered to “hunker down” since March 25, and restaurants, bars and nightclubs have been closed for in-person dining since March 16. Restaurants and bars are still allowed to offer takeout and delivery services.
The initial stay-at-home order required any business deemed “non-essential”— including hair salons and gyms—to close, unless employees could work from home. It included a long list of exemptions or examples of businesses that were considered “essential.”
But the updated stay-at-home order, which took effect Tuesday, tightened some of the restrictions. For example, liquor stores had previously been able to do business as normal, but now they can only offer curbside pickup.
Holcomb’s recent executive order also created an Enforcement Response Team led by the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to respond to complaints about businesses violating the order.
Cynthia Carrasco, the governor’s deputy general counsel, said the team is receiving complaints on a daily basis and sending members of the team out to investigate.
“We’re just getting started,” Carrasco said. “We’re going out and giving warnings to folks.”
Any businesses not complying with the order is first issued a verbal warning, then the Indiana State Department of Health issues an order to cease the unsafe practice. If the business continues to be in violation, the health department can issue an order to close the business. If that occurs, the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office will be notified to suspend any relevant licenses and the issue will be sent to the local prosecutor for consideration.
Violating the executive order can be considered a class B misdemeanor and carry a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000.