The Fishers Board of Health Meeting on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. In light of the move from orange to the severe red status with regards to COVID-19, a list of recommendations for new restrictions was made by Fishers Public Health Director Monica Heltz. While there was no action taken at this meeting, these recommendations and the public health order will be voted on during the Friday, November 13th meeting. Residents are invited to provide feedback right away via the Fishers Public Health website.
Heltz reminded viewers/board members several times that COVID-19 is not going to just go away and it was important to implement a long term strategy to SLOW the spread of COVID-19 to a “dull roar” so as to stop overwhelming our medical system and to keep children in school. She pointed out that we will not be able to eliminate the spread, only slow it.
If approved as recommended, the new public health order for Fishers would include:
Limiting indoor gatherings to 10 or fewer
Limiting outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 25 people
Canceling all school related extra curricular activities including athletics with the exception of before and after care.
Table seating at restaurants will be limited to parties of no more than 8 people
Masks must be worn in restaurants until food arrives at the table and may only be removed to eat and drink
Bar top seating will not be available, only tables
Self service food stations where items are not prepackaged (salad bars, vendor stands) will be closed
Only two people may wait in a restaurant lobby at one time, other must wait outdoors or in vehicles until seated
Events with spectators or observers will be limited to one observer per participant
Classrooms with more than one positive case will be quarantined
All of this comes just weeks away from the beginning of the holiday season, when families and friends typically gather to celebrate many times throughout a two month period. However, in light of the reality of COVID 19, it could be a time that wildly threatens public health and further overwhelms our medical system.
When asked what the rational was behind canceling activities and athletics, Heltz eloquently said, “The education of our children is important, it’s the single most important thing and anything we can do to preserve that in its best format possible is what we’re trying to achieve and all of those other opportunities for interaction do not achieve that. They result in more quarantines, more exposures… The cumulative effect of having those multiple exposure opportunities and wanting to prioritize which ones we’re going to be okay with, and that needs to be in school learning rather than extracurriculars.”
One board member laughingly indicated that Hertz shared a very grim scenario and said, “you’re gonna have to sell that to the public.” In response, Mayor Scott Fadness pointed out the need to distinguish what can be regulated vs. recommended and the list of recommendations include:
Avoid social gatherings in homes, workplaces, churches
Stay at home except for essential services (school, work, healthcare, groceries)
Utilize curbside, carryout and delivery services
Working from home when possible
Increase sanitization protocols
Gyms and retail should offer special hours for high risk individuals
Mask, distance, sanitize
Everything from the meeting can be summarized with these three points:
1. Stop gathering with people outside of your household.
2. Prioritize keeping education and commerce open.
3. Limit opportunities for groups to gather.
Fishers Fire and Emergency Services Chief, Steven Orusa commended Dr. Lane and Monica Heltz for their scalable data and analytics and said, “It’s quite another thing to have the courage and the leadership to take action.”
Mayor Fadness closed the meeting saying, “We are not in a time of inaction so the idea that this board is going to get back together and that there isn’t going to be some formal action taken is probably not likely, so if people have concerns, questions, comments, please share those in the next 48 hours because we do have to continue to move our community forward and plot a course accordingly.”