(UNDATED) – Governor Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday he is issuing new restrictions in the battle against the spread of COVID-19.
Holcomb opened the weekly coronavirus briefing by stating “the State of Indiana is on fire” based on the amount of red counties on the state’s color-coded map, and said if you have a serious medical condition, you should go see your doctor now.
Indiana will be directing hospitals to postpone or reschedule all non-emergency inpatient elective procedures for three weeks, as well as imposing new social gathering restrictions.
“Our nurses, doctors, and assistants are overwhelmed. They’re beyond exhausted,” the governor said. He explained the new directive will begin December 16 through January 3.
Both health officials and state leaders encourage people to continue visiting emergency departments if they have an urgent or emergent medical issue.
Other restrictions announced during Wednesday’s press conference:
Starting this weekend, social gatherings will be capped based on each county’s status in the ISDH metric map (25 red, 50 orange, 100 yellow, 250 blue) – local health departments are not allowed to grant exceptions.
School extracurricular activities and co-curricular activities can continue but attendance is limited to participants, support personnel, and parents/guardians with their minor children for counties in red.
College and professional sports may continue with participants, support personnel and family members, and a local health department can approve a plan for fan attendance of up to 25% capacity.
Governor Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box stressed Hoosiers should focus on these 10 things as the state continues to navigate the pandemic:
- Limit the size of gatherings based on the new metric restrictions
- Pause non-emergent inpatient procedures in hospitals to free up hospital beds
- Follow the mask mandate
- Keep 6 feet from others while masking up whether social-distanced or not
- Wash hands throughout the day
- Get tested if you are sick or symptomatic
- Stay home and isolate if you test positive for COVID-19
- Employers should talk to employees about best practices outside of work
- Donate blood and donate to food pantries if you are able
- Stay informed about vaccine distribution in 2021