Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced new restrictions in the fight against COVID-19 during his weekly press conference Wednesday as case numbers, positivity rates, and hospitalizations across the state continue to rise.

The Governor began his statement with a series of statistics and slides which included the number of hospitalizations currently sitting at an all time high (2,544 as of November 10th), a current average of 210 new COVID patients a day, and a 10.3% seven day positivity rate that is "up a full six percent from the day" Phase 5 of the state's Back on Track plan was put in effect on September 26th.

Holcomb also compared the individual, color-coded county map from that day the map as it stands today, and the differences are immediately noticeable. When the state first switched to the color-coded map, blue counties meant minimal spread of the virus within those counties, while on the opposite end of the spectrum, red meant a high spread, with yellow and orange falling in between.

As illustrated on the maps below, a large majority of the state was blue on September 26th. Now, no county is.

Governor Eric Holcomb via Facebook

Because of those statistics, the Governor announced Phase 5, and the Back on Track plan overall, is being replaced by a new set of restrictions based on a county's positivity rate.

Beginning Sunday, November 15th, counties colored orange will limited to social gatherings of no more than 50 people. Organizations looking to host an event with more than that number must submit their plan in writing and receive approval from their local health officials before moving forward. Kindergarten through grade 12 sports, including all IHSAA-sanctioned events, will be limited to 25% capacity.

Other guidelines for orange counties are as follows:

  • Capacity in common areas and break rooms should be reduced and users should be socially distanced
  • Community recreational sports leagues and tournaments may continue with attendance limited to participants, required personnel, and parents/guardians only.

In red counties, social gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, are limited to no more than 25 people. Like orange counties, anyone looking to host an event with more than that number must provide a plan in writing and receive approval from the local health department before moving forward, however the state is advising those events not be held at all, including college and professional sports. Fan capacity at Kindergarten through grade 12 sporting events, including all sanctioned by the IHSAA, will be limited to "participants, support personnel (i.e. coaches and other staff), as well as participant parents and guardians.

Other guidelines for red counties are:

  • Local officials may consider limiting hours for the operation of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs
  • Community recreational sports leagues and tournaments may continue with attendance limited to participants, required personnel, and parents/guardians only.
  • Senior care activities suspended
  • Hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other congregate settings may impose visitation limits
  • Common areas and break rooms should be closed.

As it stands right now, Vanderburgh, Warrick, Posey, Spencer, Gibson, Pike, Dubois, Daviess, Knox, Martin, and Orange counties are all orange. The only red county in our area currently is Perry while Crawford County is currently yellow.

You can watch the Governor's full press conference below.

[Source: Governor Eric Holcomb on Facebook]

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