Stage 5

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Gov. Eric Holcomb insists there is no need to reimpose statewide COVID-19 restrictions.

Holcomb: Indiana Staying At Stage 5 With Face Coverings, Dr. Box Has COVID-19

Oct 14, 2020
Provided by the State of Indiana

Gov. Eric Holcomb and state officials announced that in spite of surging COVID-19 cases, the state will remain at Stage 5 in the reopening plan with face masks still required. This will be in place through mid-November, however, Gov. Holcomb says he will revisit this next week. 

Today Dr. Kris Box, the state's top health official, announced she has tested positive for COVID-19. Her daughter and grandson have the virus as well. Gov. Holcomb and other state officials will be tested for COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon as a precaution following Box's positive test. Holcomb says he will quarantine until he gets the results of his test. Box says she is asymptomatic so far. 

Holcomb says that large gatherings aren't the problem, but rather small gatherings like weddings, funerals, house parties, etc. He says Hoosiers becoming complacent about the virus is the "literal definiation of whistling past the graveyard." He also said that "wearing a mask is a lay up." 

He says that the state will be putting more effort toward trying to help counties that are in orange or red on the state's COVID-19 map. As of Wednesday, counties in our area that are now in orange include Elkhart, LaGrange, Kosciusko and Starke. Supports that may be offered to such counties include help with more testing and contact tracing. 

State health officials also announced there has been a technical issue with the dashboard and there may be a surge of unreported numbers coming in the future. 

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

For consecutive days, Indiana logged record numbers of new COVID-19 cases on the state’s dashboard, but that's not prompting a policy response from the governor.

Friday, more than 1,832 cases were counted, an increase of nearly 400 from Thursday's record high.

Screenshot from Facebook Live

St. Joseph County decided today against issuing any new public health orders. They will not roll back the current reopening stage and will instead increase their contact tracing efforts. 

Mark Fox, the county’s deputy health officer, says the Department of Health doesn’t want to penalize restaurants and bars that are following COVID-19 guidelines. Instead, the department will enhance investigation and abatement efforts for establishments failing to adhere to safety guidelines.

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Alissa Eckert, MS

In response to rising hospitalization rates, St. Joseph County health officials are considering changing the county’s coronavirus health guidelines.


Bob Einterz, chief health officer for St. Joseph County, said that he and other health officials are still discussing all of their options.

“For example, moving the county back a stage from Governor Holcomb’s Stage 5 to more faithful enforcement of abatement orders,” Einterz said.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 93 additional confirmed deaths over the last week, bringing the state’s total to 3,447 – the highest in a single week since mid-June. The state announced more than 125,000 total confirmed cases – including three days with more than 1,000 reported cases – and more than 1.4 million Hoosiers tested.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

Gov. Eric Holcomb says he’s not rethinking his decision to lift almost all COVID-19 restrictions statewide, even as several COVID metrics have started to trend the wrong direction.

(Brock Turner, WFIU/WTIU News)

While Gov. Eric Holcomb stresses the state is ready to re-open, many local health officials aren’t convinced.

For weeks, the state has blamed coronavirus spread on younger people attending bars, nightclubs and parties.  However, yesterday, Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box shifted their rhetoric.

“We have proven effectively—whether it be at schools or businesses—that you can operate safely and manage your interaction,” Holcomb said.

Screenshot via Vimeo news conference

Indiana will move to Stage 5 in the reopening plan as of Saturday, Sept. 26. 

What that means is that the face mask order is still in effect. But there are no limits on capacity for places like bars and restaurants (other than needing to continue to social distance.) Patrons at those establishments must be seated. 

Events with more than 500 people must get approval from local health departments to proceed.