Following today’s announcement by Governor Eric Holcomb, Mayor Joe Hogsett and Dr. Virginia Caine of the Marion County Public Health Department issued a series of “stay at home” orders for Marion County, which will take effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, and remain in effect through at least Monday, April 6, 2020. The new restrictions include the implementation of a “warning” travel status, the highest level of a local travel emergency, and the ordered closure of all non-essential business activity.
“As we have watched the spread of COVID-19 across our community, it is clear that every one of us has a personal obligation to do our part to combat the scourge of this virus,” said Mayor Hogsett. “These restrictions are burdensome and disruptive, but they are necessary – this crisis is real, it is here now, and through this action, I am confident that we will save lives in Indianapolis.”
Through Executive Order No. 2-2020, Mayor Hogsett upgraded Marion County’s travel emergency to a “warning,” the highest level allowed under state law, restricting travel except for emergency situations and essential functions. A full list of essential functions can be found within the Executive Order, but it includes travel for things like the care of another individual, the purchase groceries or food and beverages, as well as the pick-up of prescriptions. Residents are also permitted to travel for volunteer service benefitting food banks, food pantries, homeless shelters, or other organizations serving vulnerable populations.
In addition, the Marion County Public Health Department’s Order states that all non-essential businesses are to close as soon as possible, but no later than 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24. Businesses with essential functions are permitted to remain open, and their employees are permitted to continue traveling to work. A full list of these “essential businesses and operations,” as recommended by state and federal guidance, can be found within the mayor’s Executive Order and at: https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/
“Now is the time for each of us to do what is critically necessary to protect our neighbors, friends, and loved ones from COVID-19, especially those who are at high risk for complications from the virus,” said Dr. Caine. “Social distancing is so important to slowing the spread of this virus, and taking additional measures like this help to minimize the effect of COVID-19 on our community.”
Mayor Hogsett also directed civilian city departments to identify essential personnel and prioritize critical public services as additional municipal employees are asked to work from home. Staff from the Marion County Public Health Department, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, and CERT volunteers are staffing the Emergency Operations Center around the clock to monitor and respond to public health and safety needs.
Today’s restrictions follow the recent closure of all Marion County schools, the temporary closure of bars and nightclubs that do not serve food, movie theaters, and entertainment venues, as well as gyms and fitness facilities. All eleven township school systems within Marion County — as well as mayoral-sponsored charter schools — will remain closed through May 1.
Residents and affected workers impacted by COVID-19 restrictions should visit the city’s resource guide, which can be viewed at indy.gov/covid. Spanish speaking residents can view the Resource Guide here. Individuals who are unable to navigate the city’s website can call 317-327-4MAC between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to talk to a customer service representative.