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Indiana delays lifting capacity limits on restaurants, bars

Indiana will keep capacity limits in place for restaurants, bars and entertainment venues because of worries about a possible increase in coronavirus cases across the state, Gov. Eric Holcomb said Wednesday.

Posted: Jul 2, 2020 9:48 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana will keep capacity limits in place for restaurants, bars and entertainment venues because of worries about a possible increase in coronavirus cases across the state, Gov. Eric Holcomb said Wednesday.

The state’s reopening plan had called for those restrictions to be lifted this weekend, but Holcomb said he would keep them in place until at least July 18.

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The state will also continue its current 250-person limit on social gatherings rather than eliminating that maximum.

Holcomb, a Republican, said he was concerned about recent increases in hospitalizations across Indiana involving COVID-19 cases and other states that have seen fresh outbreaks after lifting restrictions on bars and other businesses.

“The volatility that we see, even in some areas of our own state, but especially around the country and especially around our borders is of concern,” Holcomb said.

Since June 12, Indiana restaurants have been allowed 75% capacity in their dining rooms, while bars, nightclubs, bowling alleys, museums and movie theaters have permitted open at half capacity.

Holcomb started easing restrictions in early May and had cited continuing declines in the number of people hospitalized in Indiana for the COVID-19 virus and the availability of intensive care unit beds to treat those seriously ill.

But state health department statistics on Wednesday showed an increase of 72 people, or 12%, hospitalized with the coronavirus 595 hospitalizations on June 26, which marked Indiana’s lowest level since the outbreak’s early days in March.

Holcomb will let some parts of reopening proceed as planned effective Saturday, including allowing outdoor festivals and the opening of youth overnight camps.

Holcomb said schools were still being allowed to start their fall semesters as soon as late July and that school sports and other extracurricular activities could resume Monday as planned.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Woody Myers, a physician and former state health commissioner, said Holcomb’s decision to ease restrictions increased the danger of greater coronavirus spread.

“Our focus should be implementing a statewide mask order and encouraging Indiana to stay home,” Myers said in a statement. “In addition, Indiana still needs to expand testing and prioritize our disproportionately impacted communities.”

St. Joseph, Elkhart and LaGrange counties in northern Indiana have issued face mask mandates because of outbreaks in the area.

Holcomb said he would not issue a statewide mask mandate but encouraged everyone to wear face coverings.

“We know it works,” he said. “I hope people don’t look at it as inconvenient but look at it as cool, like I’m doing my part, my patriotic duty to try to get us through this sooner rather than later.”

Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner, said a mask order could backfire.

“My concern is it sometimes makes people almost more stubborn and stand their ground,” she said.

Michigan’s governor said Wednesday she was closing indoor seating in bars for much of the state after an outbreak tied to a large brew pub in East Lansing has spread to about 140 people from a dozen counties.

Outbreaks in Florida, Arizona, Texas and California have caused those states to shut down bars and beaches and curb restaurant capacity.

Indiana’s monthly deaths involving confirmed coronavirus infections dropped by more than half during June.

Figures released Wednesday by state health officials reported at least 393 such deaths in June — down from 910 during May and 1,040 in April.

Indiana has had 2,650 deaths of those with confirmed or presumed infections since mid-March, according to the state health department.

Holcomb said he believed it was better to pause Indiana’s reopening rather than possibly face needing to backtrack later.

“This gives all of us a little more additional time to manage our way through this,” he said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74328

Reported Deaths: 3041
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15860725
Lake7570275
Elkhart484384
Allen3902163
St. Joseph350081
Hamilton2763104
Vanderburgh196313
Hendricks1887108
Cass17959
Johnson1757118
Porter131639
Clark123347
Tippecanoe121111
Madison97965
LaPorte91130
Howard89065
Kosciusko85212
Bartholomew79347
Marshall78422
Floyd77946
Monroe75630
Delaware73052
Dubois69612
Boone67846
Noble67829
Hancock66038
Vigo65110
Jackson5865
Warrick58130
LaGrange55910
Shelby55327
Grant52630
Dearborn50828
Morgan47634
Clinton4343
Henry38320
Wayne37710
White36910
Montgomery35421
Lawrence34627
Harrison33823
Decatur33732
Putnam2888
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25034
Jasper2432
Franklin24214
DeKalb2324
Gibson2254
Jennings22512
Steuben2103
Ripley2087
Carroll1912
Fayette1897
Perry18612
Starke1787
Orange17124
Posey1710
Wabash1693
Fulton1682
Wells1682
Jefferson1632
Knox1540
Whitley1526
Washington1401
Tipton13810
Spencer1363
Sullivan1261
Huntington1223
Randolph1224
Clay1215
Newton11810
Adams1012
Jay910
Owen901
Pulaski831
Rush804
Fountain742
Brown731
Ohio655
Blackford642
Benton610
Pike530
Switzerland520
Vermillion520
Parke511
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren221
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 100848

Reported Deaths: 3669
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18317524
Cuyahoga13514499
Hamilton9643255
Lucas5348323
Montgomery436294
Summit3555222
Butler292963
Marion292545
Mahoning2554255
Pickaway238742
Stark1827139
Warren178939
Lorain177078
Columbiana165860
Trumbull1524106
Fairfield138732
Delaware130119
Licking128149
Clark114614
Lake111438
Wood104358
Clermont93311
Medina92335
Miami83938
Tuscarawas78214
Portage75861
Allen74044
Greene69012
Belmont62126
Mercer61213
Richland60412
Erie57527
Ashtabula56946
Geauga55644
Wayne53958
Ross4844
Huron3965
Darke39529
Ottawa38626
Hancock3783
Sandusky37716
Madison37410
Athens3571
Holmes3286
Lawrence2830
Auglaize2546
Union2511
Muskingum2361
Jefferson2292
Scioto2261
Seneca2143
Knox2057
Putnam20517
Preble2032
Washington20322
Shelby1944
Coshocton1936
Champaign1762
Crawford1745
Morrow1702
Hardin16512
Clinton1646
Highland1581
Logan1552
Fulton1481
Wyandot1468
Ashland1443
Defiance1444
Williams1353
Perry1303
Brown1292
Hocking1189
Guernsey1177
Henry1172
Fayette1130
Carroll1115
Monroe9318
Pike760
Jackson740
Van Wert711
Paulding690
Gallia651
Adams612
Meigs400
Vinton312
Harrison261
Morgan260
Noble160
Unassigned00
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