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.