July Fourth was projected to be Indiana’s Independence Day from many of the restrictions the state imposed to keep the coronavirus in check, the date when stores, bars and restaurants could open at full capacity.
But Wednesday, Gov. Eric Holcomb declined to move full speed ahead into Stage 5 of Indiana’s Back on Track plan, noting that many other states, including some of Indiana’s neighbors, have seen their COVID-19 caseloads increase dramatically. Some Indiana indicators also gave state officials caution.
Instead, Holcomb announced Indiana will be in what he described as Stage 4.5 for the next two weeks.
Click here to read the full story from Ethan May and Shari Rudavski in the Indianapolis Star.
Stage 4.5 will look much like, well, Stage 4. Over the next two weeks, he said, he will monitor the situation closely to determine whether to move to Stage 5 on July 18.
“The date doesn’t drive us, but the data does,” he said in his weekly news briefing. “We are living on virus time.”
In Ohio, newly reported cases topped 1,000 for the first time since April. Illinois earlier this week saw its hospitalizations for coronavirus tick up slightly.
Indiana so far has not seen a surge, and the governor wants to keep it that way.