Here is a rundown of the Governor's plan to reopen Indiana from the Indy Star, Friday, May 1, 2020
If all goes according to Gov. Eric Holcomb's plan, Hoosiers can expect to light up their grills and mostly return to normal by the Fourth of July weekend.
Of course, that might be a big if.
Between then and now, Holcomb said Friday, Indiana will take a phased approach to lifting restrictions enacted because of the coronavirus pandemic. Dates of each phase may change, depending in part on the spread of the virus and its effect on hospital systems during the next two months.
And three counties with unique coronavirus challenges — Marion, Lake and Cass — will follow a slightly delayed timeline to begin.
But for most Indiana residents, it boils down to this:
Retailers? They can open at half capacity Monday. (Or May 11 in Indianapolis.)
Hair salons and barber shops? May 11, with restrictions. (Or May 18 in Indianapolis.)
Most restaurants? Half capacity on May 11. (Or May 18 in Indianapolis.)
Religious services? May 8 everywhere, with no restrictions on gathering sizes.
And the limit on other social gatherings, such as wedding ceremonies or Mother's Day parties, will be expanded Monday to a cap of 25 people, which is up from 10.
That cap would balloon to 100 people on May 24, under Holcomb's plans, and 250 people on June 14. The cap would disappear by Independence Day.
"We are ready to move ahead in a measured way," Holcomb said. "This roadmap is subject to change ... The more that is known about this disease every day may alter our course."
While Indiana will see an immediate wave of openings over the next two weeks, many places will be required to wait several more weeks under the governor's plan.
Gyms, playgrounds, movie theaters and basketball courts will need to wait until at least May 24. Bars, night clubs and bowling alleys will wait until at least June 14.
Then, finally, comes July 4 — when restrictions could be lifted on just about everything else, including professional sporting events, festivals and the state fair.
It is also during that final stage, Holcomb said, that decisions would be made about when and how to reopen K-12 schools.
Almost 19,000 Hoosiers have tested positive for the virus, and more than 1,000 deaths have been reported. Nationally, more than 1 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to data compiled by USA TODAY, with 63,000 dead.
The crisis also is hitting residents' bank accounts. Nearly 570,000 Hoosiers lost their jobs or experienced a reduction in hours because of the pandemic, according to federal labor data. More than 57,000 workers filed unemployment claims last week alone.
The competing crises is forcing state leaders such as Holcomb to identify ways to reignite the economy while also not heaping gallons of gasoline onto a kindling public health fire.
In taking an approach that Holcomb described as methodical, the state will be in a position to begin helping Hoosiers' pocketbooks but still retain flexibility to hit pause if the coronavirus comes roaring back.
"Your well-being affects not just your health but also your ability to provide for yourself," Holcomb said. "It's finding that sweet spot. It's a little bit of science and it's a little bit of art."
Some things will not change Monday. Holcomb wants office workers to continue working from home, if possible. Hoosiers are still encouraged to continue wearing face masks in public and to maintain social distancing.
Those who are 65 and older, or who have high-risk health conditions, are also urged to continue staying home as much as possible. Older residents have accounted for most of the state's coronavirus deaths.