INDIANA- (WTHI)- There are four guiding principles that the governor said must be met.
- The number of COVID-19 hospital patients has to decrease for 14 days.
- The state must be able to maintain its surge capacity.
this includes having critical care beds and ventilators available.
- The state must be able to test Hoosiers who are symptomatic as well as essential workers.
- Health officials must have systems to contact people who test positive and then notify people who might've been exposed.
All of these points must be met or the state may have to go backward in the phases of reopening, then the state can go into the five stages.
Governor Eric Holcomb said the goal is for the entire state to reopen again by July 4th.
The governor said right now Indiana is already in Stage 1.
That's for elective surgeries and essential businesses. Stage 2 begins Monday, May 4th.
People who are 65 and older should still stay at home.
Manufacturers, construction operations and libraries can reopen. Malls will be able allowed to open Monday up to 50% capacity with indoor restrictions, and gatherings can occur up to 25 people at a time.
Also in Stage 2 but a week later, on Monday, May 11th barbershops, salons and tattoo parlors can reopen but only by appointment and practicing social distancing.
Also beginning May 11th restaurants will be able to reopen at 50% capacity.
Schools and other educational buildings will still remain closed.
Now, we move to Stage 3 which starts May 24th. Gyms, playgrounds, tennis courts and other facilities will be able to reopen.
Movie theaters will have to be at 50% capacity. People can have gatherings of up to 100 people.
Then we move to Stage 4 which begins June 14th.
This stage will let more businesses open and larger gatherings up to 250 people.
Retail stores and malls will be able to open back to full capacity.
This stage also allows bars, nightclubs, museums, sporting venues and amusement parks to open at 50% capacity.
Stage 5 is the last stage which is hoped for July 4th.
Once we get to this point, the state will then open up sport venues and larger facilities. Fairs and festivals will be back up and running, as well as restrictions being lifted for amusement and water parks. Retail shops and restaurants will be able to operate at full capacity.
In the daily briefing, Governor Holcomb said the state is inching closer to a brighter day.
"Our effort going forward will be all about managing through this crisis. I'm praying for a vaccine but we gotta do what we can do right now. And we're taking the responsible steps in allowing folks to responsibly and safely return to some normal aspects of their life," said Governor Holcomb.
Governor Holcomb said the ability to reopen at all is only because Hoosiers have worked together during this pandemic.