INDIANAPOLIS – Gov Eric Holcomb announced today that most of Indiana will have new social gathering restrictions and attendance at K12 events will be limited as hospitals are delaying procedures and diverting patients elsewhere due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The new rules apply to counties in orange or red, according to case and positivity metrics. All but five counties are in orange or red – including all of northeast Indiana.
"We must do all we can to protect our hospital capacity so they can protect patients and care for them - not only for those who have COVID-19 but for cancer patients and heart patients who need care," Holcomb said.
He is getting rid of the stage approach he has used since May and now will rely solely on the color-coded county map.
He said Hoosiers mistakenly believed that Stage 5 – the final one listed – meant going back to normal and the virus is spreading unabated.
Indiana's positivity rate was 3.9% when Holcomb announced that stage. The rate now is 10.3%.
Social gatherings are limited to 50 people in orange counties and 25 in red counties. Church services are exempted.
Local health departments can also apply for grants from a $20 million program to help with compliance and enforcement of mask wearing, capacity limitations and more.