Authorities in Indiana have updated the restrictions levels in several counties as of Dec. 4, while extending the current measures to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through at least Dec. 31.
The state continues to use a system under which individual counties are categorized using a four-tier, color-coded range, from the blue level for jurisdictions having the lowest COVID-19 activity to the red level for those with the highest COVID-19 activity. Restrictions on gathering sizes depend on the given country's risk level. Gatherings of up to 250 people are allowed in counties that are at the blue level; as of Dec. 4, no county is at the blue level. In counties at the yellow level, gatherings and events for up to 100 people are allowed; only Switzerland county is at the yellow level as of Dec. 4.
At the orange level, gatherings and events must be limited to 50 people. There are counties at the orange level as of Dec. 4, including Marion, Hamilton, Saint Joseph, Elkhart, Vanderburgh, Tippecanoe, Porter, and Hendricks. At the red level, gatherings and events must be limited to 25 people. There are 17 counties at the red level as of Dec. 4, including Allen and Lake. Authorities recommend residents refrain from gatherings regardless of the risk level.
Statewide, current directives require residents over the age of two to wear facemasks in indoor public settings, outdoors when social distancing measures are not feasible, and when using public transportation. Customers at restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other eating and drinking establishments must all be seated and tables separated by at least 1.8 meters (six feet). All businesses can open but must ensure compliance with social distancing and health requirements, as well as require the use of facemasks for workers and customers. Employers should encourage employees to work from home whenever reasonable and practical.
Local officials can impose more restrictive measures if they consider it necessary within their jurisdictions. In Marion County, including the city of Indianapolis, bars can operate at 25-percent capacity indoors and 100-percent capacity outdoors; restaurants may operate at 50-percent capacity indoors and 100-percent outdoors. Cultural and music venues and other indoor entertainment facilities, as well as gyms and fitness centers, can operate at 25-percent capacity, while libraries, swimming pools, and food courts in malls can open at 50-percent capacity. Events, including fairs, festivals, and weddings, can allow 25-percent of the room's capacity; more than 50 people are allowed only if they have a plan approved by local health officials. All food and entertainment businesses must close nightly by 0001. In Lake County, malls and retail stores can operate at 75-percent capacity, restaurants at 50-percent capacity, and bars and nightclubs, as well as gyms and fitness centers, and indoor entertainment businesses, such as movie theaters, at 25-percent capacity. Food and drink establishments must close daily 0000-0500.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Confirm appointments. Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
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