During his weekly press update on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, Governor Eric Holcomb announced another 30 day extension of Phase 5 of the state's reopening plan, which includes the statewide mask mandate.

The Governor cited the rising number of COVID cases across the state and the corresponding rise in positivity rate as the reason for the decision.

Holcomb moved the state into the final stage of reopening on September 23rd. However, it was a slightly altered version than what was originally laid out in the state's Back on Track plan back in May.

The extension of Phase 5 means the following guidelines will now remain in place until November 14th.

  • Face coverings are required.
  • Continue to maintain social distancing, practice good hygiene, and stay home if you feel sick.
  • Size limitations have been removed, however if a gathering is expected to host 500 or more people, a written plan must be submitted to the county health department where the event will be held.
  • Restaurants and bars that offer food may reopen at full capacity, but social distancing must remain between tables and bar section customers must be seated.
  • Bars and nightclubs may reopen at full capacity, but customers must be seated and social distancing is required.
  • Indoor and outdoor venues can reopen at full capacity, and must spectators must be seated and social distancing measures must be followed.
  • Senior centers and congregate nutrition sites may reopen following Family and Social Service Administration guidelines.
  • Personal services along with gyms and fitness centers may resume normal operations while continuing to follow cleaning and social distancing guidelines.
  • Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are required to provide visitation opportunities

Today's update was different than previous updates in that the Governor addressed viewers from his office through video conference software. Normally, the Governor and Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box, along with another guest sit together, socially distanced, at a large table. Dr. Box was part of today's update, however she joined from home where she revealed both she and her husband had tested positive for COVID-19. Dr. Box said she is currently not experiencing any symptoms, and believes she contracted it from her grandson who had two employees at his daycare test positive.

You can watch the Governor's entire press conference below:

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