5 stages to Holcomb’s ‘Back On Track’ plan
Harrison County and most of Indiana can begin the process of sending Hoosiers back to work starting Monday. That was Gov. Eric Holcomb’s announcement Friday (May 1), called “Back On Track Indiana.”
The plan is a five-stage process, with stage one beginning back on March 24 when the state’s “stay-at-home” order first began.
Stage two is a three-week process, with Harrison County and most of the state starting this stage May 4. During this stage, Holcomb said Hoosiers 65 and older and those with high-risk health conditions who are susceptible to the novel coronavirus should remain home as much as possible. Restrictions are easing, but local health officials and governments can impose more strict guidelines.
Starting Monday, essential travel restrictions will be lifted and social gatherings can contain as many as 25 people as long as people follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social-distancing guidelines. Retail and commercial businesses will open at 50% capacity. This includes furniture stores, shopping centers, which could have to limit common areas to a 25% capacity, along with jewelry and liquor stores that have been operating with curb-side and delivery only.
Restaurants and bars that serve food can open starting May 11 at 50% capacity, but bar seating will remain closed. Hair and beauty salons can also open on this day but by appointment only.
On May 8, worship centers can hold services again while practicing social-distancing guidelines during indoor settings. Hoosiers more susceptible to getting COVID-19 are highly encouraged to stay home.
Stage 3 is set to begin in the latter part of May, and the entire process is scheduled to end with stage 5 beginning on July 4.
Holcomb said these steps are possible due to Hoosiers taking the correct steps to flatten the curve and limit the spread of the coronavirus. He added the state could go back to a previous step if things get worse. He added the state has seen a two-week decline in the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and those numbers could increase as the state advances into other stages.
He said part of the data used to determine if the state should progress to the next stage or go back to a prior stage is based on Indiana hospitals and their available bed and ventilator capacity.
The update did not include the latest figures regarding the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Those figures are still available at online at coronavirus.in.gov.
There were 815 new positives cases identified since Thursday’s update. That overall number is now 18,630. There were 55 news deaths, bringing this total to 1,062. Another 4,660 people received a COVID-19 test and, so far, 99,639 Hoosiers have been tested for the virus.