FAQ: What does the stay-at-home order mean for Hoosiers?

Gov. Eric Holcomb (TheStatehousefile.com photo/Bryan Wells)

Gov. Eric Holcomb is telling Hoosiers to “hunker down” and stay at home for the next two weeks, except for what’s deemed “essential” business and activity. The order raises plenty of questions about what’s allowed. Here are some answers.

When does the stay-at-home order start?
The order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

When does it end?
11:59 p.m. April 6, but it could be extended, if necessary.

What is considered as an “essential” business?
The executive order Holcomb issued Monday lays out a long list of industries, businesses and services that are considered essential. Some on that list includes grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, police stations, fire stations, hospitals, doctor’s offices, health care facilities, garbage pickup, public transit, day care centers, airport operations, utilities, convenience stores, pet supply stores, food distribution companies, animal shelters, churches, media, food banks, auto repair shops, banks, insurance companies, hardware stores, real estate firms, manufacturing companies, hotels, funeral homes, public service hotlines such as SNAP and HIP 2.0, post offices and other shipping and delivery service companies, educational institutions (but K-12 public and private schools are still closed until May 1 under a different executive order), dry cleaners and restaurants (but dine-in service is prohibited).

What about non-essential business. Do those have to close?
The executive order requires those businesses to cease operations, unless employees are working from home.

Does this apply to not-for-profits?
Yes, unless an organization falls under one of the essential exemptions. For example, not-for-profits like food banks, shelters or those that provide other social services for “economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency and people with disabilities” are considered essential.

What about churches?
Churches are required to abide by CDC guidance on social gathering, which prohibit more than 10 people together.

Restaurants were already closed, except for takeout. What else will be closed now?
All other retailers that don’t fit the “essential” definition. Also, hair salons, fitness centers/gyms, tattoo parlors, spas and barber shops will have to close. They were specifically excluded from the health care and public health operations exemption.

What is considered an essential activity?
Going to the grocery store or pharmacy, spending time outside (i.e. biking, walking, hiking, running), going to work (assuming it is at an essential business), taking care of others (i.e. delivering groceries or supplies to someone or caring for a pet), going to see a health care professional or going somewhere to purchase medical supplies.

Can I travel to/from work?
Yes. Law enforcement will not be stopping drivers traveling for essential purposes.

Can I still use public transit?
Yes, but individuals using public transit are urged to maintain a six-foot distance from others whenever possible.

Can restaurants still offer carry-out?
Yes. Holcomb ordered all restaurants, bars and nightclubs to close except for carry-out and delivery services on March 16, and those establishments can continue to provide those limited services. But if a restaurant is violating the dine-in prohibition, the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission has authority to revoke an establishment’s food and beverage license.

Can groceries and other online orders still be delivered?

Does this mean I should buy two weeks worth of groceries?
No. “Get groceries only when you need them,” Holcomb said. “And only buy what you need.”

What else is closed?
All amusement parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, children’s play centers, playgrounds, bowling alleys, movie theaters, entertainment venues, etc.

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10 thoughts on “FAQ: What does the stay-at-home order mean for Hoosiers?

  1. At the beginning of last week we were told “two weeks.” Now this “order”will make it three weeks, not the two we were originally told. What will happen next week or the week after that? This gets and more suspicious by the hour and by the day.

    1. Suspicious? No one is really sure how far the virus is going to spread, or how fast. It’s spreading quickly. They’re trying to keep people safe. Enough with the conspiracy theories. I hope you’re staying home.

    2. Because if they said 3 months the markets would reset to 2001 levels.

      It is basic expectation management….

    3. I agree Neal- I wouldn’t use “suspicious”…I’d say it doesn’t make any sense at all… the irrational panic and fear leading to irrational responses by so called leadership. It is not “conspiracy theory”, its people using logic and common sense, coupled with facts, that leads millions of people to question the response happening where it will destroy our economy for potentially generations. The fact is this is a strain of influenza and the seasonal influenza spreads the same and has a higher mortality rate than this is showing, but yet they have never responded like they are now, and in fact they didn’t do this for the H1N1 Pandemic. As a Citizen we have the right and obligation to question governments. Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety- Benjamin Franklin

  2. Pawn shops are considered essential. Really. Can someone – anyone – explain how pawn sops are essential to our collective health and safety are essential?

    1. Sadly, because so many people are out of work they have to resort to pawing their belongings just to make ends meet to provide for their families.

  3. With all the exemptions it will be as if nothing is closed except for what is currently closed down. Everyone is going to think they are essential and this will have no effect until it is mandated that everything close for 14 days period.

  4. A reminder: this is NOT influenza. The reason influenza is not a current pandemic is that we now have group or “herd” immunity through vaccinations and prior exposure. This is totally new coronavirus that is mutating. There is no vaccine, no treatment. All we can do is slow the spread for now until vaccines and treatments can be developed. If you love your friends, co-workers and family, you will treat this thing seriously. You must assume that everyone could be a carrier- you can be without symptoms to a week. Yes, there will be suffering. The economy will eventually recover. Please take care, everyone!

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