Updated message from the Hendricks County Health Department on COVID-19

Since March 6th there have been a series of statewide executive orders issued by Governor Holcomb to protect the health and well-being of all Hoosiers and to respond to threats posed to the public health by COVID-19—including the stay at home order. On May 5th, Governor Holcomb issued executive order 20-26 as a means of gradually but safely reopening the state. This initiative has been called Back on Track Indiana and serves to continue mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and to lower the risk of resurgence. Back on Track Indiana’s plan includes five measured stages with each additional stage being subject to fewer restrictions and limitations than the previous stage. As COVID-19 severity differs between counties, businesses and entities within a county may be permitted to advance to the next stage if certain criteria are met. Currently, Hendricks County is in Stage 2 of the Back on Track plan, which will remain in effect through May 23rd.

On or before May 11th, all Hoosier employers must have developed a plan to implement safety measures and institute safeguards to ensure a safe environment for their employees, customers, clients, and members. The plan shall be provided to each employee or staff and posted publicly. The plan must address, at a minimum, the following points:

  1. Instituting a health screen process for employees
  2. Using enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols for the workplace, including regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces
  3. Enhancing the ability of employees, customers, and clients to wash hands and hand sanitizer
  4. Complying with social distancing requirements established by the CDC, including maintaining 6-foot social distancing for both employees and members of the general public when possible, and/ or employing other separation measures such as wearing face coverings or using barriers.

Similarly to the previous stay-at-home orders, all individuals should stay at home as much as possible to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Individuals should limit trips outside of their home. Trips outside of the home are expected for travel to employment, to purchase necessities of life, and to care for or transport another individual or pet in another household. When outside of the home, individuals shall maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person, with the exception of family or household members. Additionally, when outside of homes or residences, individuals are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings.

In Stage 2, any gathering is limited to 25 or fewer people who must all engage in social distancing and other sanitation measures.

Restaurants, country clubs, social clubs and wineries which provide in-person full dining service, are permitted to open, reopen or expand services on Monday, May 11th. While in Stage 2, restaurants may only provide in-person dining services by adhering to the following conditions:

  1. Dining must be limited to no more than 50% of seating capacity,
  2. Bar areas must remain closed,
  3. Tables must remain 6 feet apart to adhere to social distancing guidelines,
  4. Self-service stations such as salad bars are not permitted, and
  5. All employees and staff must wear facial coverings if food service workers cannot comply with the 6-foot social distancing guidelines.

At this time bars are still not permitted to reopen in-person services.

Businesses are encouraged to continue meeting virtually whenever possible. For a full list of business, restaurant, and other entity guidelines please visit www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm and refer to Executive Order 20-26.

To view all guidelines, openings, and stages of the Back on Track plan, please refer to backontrack.in.gov.

For business and industry questions regarding Indiana’s Stay-at-Home order, please call the Critical Industries Hotline at 877-820-0890 or email covidresponse@iedc.in.gov.

The Indiana State Department of Health has partnered with OptumServe to provide free COVID-19 testing at 20 sites around the state, with an additional 30 sites opening in the next week. On May 6th, one of these testing sites opened in Danville, IN and became available to Hendricks County residents. Testing is available for symptomatic individuals and certain close contacts of confirmed positive cases. Hoosiers will not be charged for testing and insurance is not required. If you do have private health insurance, please bring that information with you. Individuals can register online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling (888) 634-1116.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets produced by sneezing and coughing by persons within about six feet. It may also be possible to contact COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching one’s own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes. Risk of infection with COVID-19 is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19. Examples of close contacts are healthcare workers or household members.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. The virus has now been confirmed in over 200 locations internationally, including the United States.

COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, meaning that it is a new coronavirus that had not previously been identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease, COVID-19, is not the same as the coronaviruses that now commonly circulates among humans.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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