Most Hoosiers Will See Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions Next Week, But Not Everyone


STATEWIDE - Most of Indiana will take baby steps out of lockdown on Monday.

Governor Holcomb is ending a six-week stay-home order, and allowing stores, factories and libraries to reopen. The following Monday, restaurants can resume dine-in service, and barbers and hairdressers can reopen.

But the restrictions aren't being lifted completely. Stores, malls and restaurants will have to limit customers to half capacity, and you're encouraged to wear a mask if you go out.

The order allows houses of worship to reopen next Friday -- all other mass gatherings are limited to 25 people. Bars, gyms and casinos are still closed. Holcomb says if everything goes well, the plan is to go back to normal on the Fourth of July, with incremental steps toward that goal every three weeks.

But Marion and Lake Counties remain under full lockdown for another week, and Cass County for two week. Nearly half the state's coronavirus cases are in those three counties.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has already announced an extension of a local lockdown order through May 15, four days beyond Holcomb's target for Marion County. Holcomb says he won't override that order or any other local decisions to impose longer or tougher restrictions.

Holcomb warns even if people follow the rules, more people out and about will mean more infections. He says what's different is that hospitals now should have the capacity to handle it. He says if hospitalization rates start to spike or intensive-care beds become scarce, the state may have to renew restrictions.

Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group has already announced plans to reopen malls in Greenwood, Noblesville, Bloomington, Lafayette, and South Bend on Monday, plus outlet malls in Edinburgh and Michigan City. But the mall developer scrapped plans to reopen three Indianapolis malls after Hogsett's extension of the city's lockdown order.