During his weekly press conference on Wednesday (July 1st, 2020), Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced the state would not enter the final phase of reopening on July 4th as originally planned.

Citing an uptick in hospitalizations and positive tests in the state over the past week, the Governor said he is adjusting the plan that would have seen the state fully reopen on Saturday while still adhering to social distance guidelines.

Governor Holcomb said the state will now enter what he calls Phase 4.5 beginning immediately until July 17th. Here's what that means:

  • Restaurant dining rooms will remain at 75% capacity.
  • Bars, clubs, and entertainment venues will remain at 50% capacity.
  • Indoor gatherings will remain at 250 people or fewer

Government offices, manufacturing/Industrial business, office spaces, retail outlets, gyms, and personal services will continue to be allowed to operate at 100% capacity with social distancing guidelines and other safety measures, including proper sanitation procedures, in place.

The slight difference (the ".5", if you will), refers to outdoor events. Citing a study shared with him by Dr. Daniel Rusyniak, Chief Medical Officer of Family and Social Services, who was also involved in today's press conference, the Governor said, "the risk of transmission is up to 19 times less when outdoors compared to indoors." Using that information, as well as noting the number of community 4th of July celebrations planned across the state this weekend, Governor Holcomb said his administration is comfortable giving the green light to outdoor gatherings of more than 250 people, but encouraging social distancing of six feet or more among participants, and the wearing of masks if that's not possible.

While wearing a mask has been "Optional" since Phase 4 began opposed to "Recommended" like earlier stages, Wednesday's press conference did introduce a new campaign to designed to encourage Hoosiers to cover their nose and mouth called, #MaskUpHoosiers. Part of which invites residents to print a flyer from the state's coronavirus website featuring a space to write the name of a loved one on and share on social media as the reason why they choose to wear a mask in public.

The Governor's next press conference is scheduled for Wednesday, July 8th at 1:30 Central / 2:30 Eastern. You can watch today's press conference in its entirety below.

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