(This is a developing story, details will be updated)
“There is no responsible way to pretend that this Thanksgiving and the ensuing holidays will be normal.”
Sobering words from Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett as he and Dr. Caine, Director of the Marion County Public Health Department took to the camera this morning to implement new measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.
In Marion County, we reached over 700 cases on November 11. We might reach 1000 cases per day. “This is our critical point.” said Dr. Caine.
Marion County School Ordered to Close in November
“We see now that when we look at all ages, we have a positivity rate of 12% but look at that very top line…for the fist time we’re seeing an 18% positivity rate in our high school students. Even more concerning, when we look at our middle school, they’re reaching over 14% positivity rate. Our prior chart said if we reach 13% that was our criteria to go virtual.”
Elementary schools are at 8% but at the rate we’re going, we expect to reach 12% or higher next week, according to Dr. Caine.
For that reason, no later than November 30th, Marion County schools will be required to return to virtual instruction, this includes grades K-12. All schools are encouraged to go virtual prior to that. This includes public AND private schools. At this time, the order does not include preschools and daycare but the Health Department is keeping an eye on this.
Beginning November 30, K-12 extra curricular activities and sporting events can only include participants, their parents or guardians and support personnel. The order will end on January 15th 2021.
The announcement of school closures comes after a tumultuous week of local school closures and shifts to hybrid or virtual learning.
Restaurant and Other Business Restrictions
Other measures that will be put in place as a result of the increase in cases and the stress put on our health care system are;
Bars return to 25% capacity, 100% outdoor.
Restaurants 50% indoors, 100% outdoor. Outdoor tents can only be two sided.
12 am – 5 am, live entertainment venues must be clear of all patrons.
Gyms may remain open at 25% capacity
Assisted living visitors must have a negative COVID 19 test in the last 72 hours to visit indoors
Tables at restaurants may only seat 6 people in a party
Funeral homes can be at 50% capacity
Social gatherings are now limited to 25 people
As a result of that these changes are effective Monday, November 16 at midnight.