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Gov. Holcomb signs order to curb non-emergency procedures, tighten COVID-19 county requirements

INDIANAPOLIS — Governor Eric J. Holcomb recently signed Executive Order 20-50 to curtail elective in-patient surgeries and implement targeted restrictions for counties that have high levels of COVID-19.

Local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines.

In an effort to preserve hospital intensive care unit capacity and try to lessen the strain on our overwhelmed health care workers on the front lines, hospitals are required to postpone or reschedule non-emergent procedures done in the in-patient hospital setting beginning Wednesday, Dec. 16 through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. Postponed procedures include those that are unlikely to cause risk to a patient’s prognosis. Hoosiers who need medical assistance should continue to see their doctor or go to a hospital.

The size of social gatherings is limited by the color metric of the county. Beginning Sunday, Dec. 13, local health departments are no longer allowed to grant permission for larger events.

The Indiana Department of Health has established a color-coded county map that measures weekly cases per 100,000 residents and the seven-day positivity rate for all tests completed. Each county is assigned a color based on the average scores for the two metrics. Restrictions are assigned based on the map, which is updated each Wednesday at www.coronavirus.in.gov.

Among the new requirements are:

Red: The county has very high positivity and community spread. When a county is in the Red metric, these requirements remain in effect until the metric has returned to Orange or lower for two weeks.

Social gatherings of any kind, indoor or outdoor, are limited to 25 people.

K-12 extracurricular and co-curricular activities may continue with attendance limited to participants, support personnel, and parents/guardians plus their minor children.

Orange: The county’s community spread is approaching high levels. These requirements are in effect when a county reaches the Orange metric and remain until a county moves to Yellow or Blue for two straight weeks.

Social gatherings of any kind, indoor or outdoor, are limited to 50 people.

K-12 extracurricular and co-curricular activities may continue with attendance limited to 25 percent capacity in consultation with local health departments.

Yellow: The county has moderate community spread.

Social gatherings of any kind, indoor or outdoor, are limited to 100 people.

K-12 extracurricular and co-curricular activities may continue with attendance limited to 25 percent capacity in consultation with local health departments.

Blue: The county has low community spread.

Social gatherings of any kind, indoor or outdoor, are limited to 250 people.

K-12 extracurricular and co-curricular activities may continue with attendance limited to 25 percent capacity in consultation with local health departments.

Regardless of a county’s color code, community recreational sports leagues and tournaments may continue but are limited to participants, support personnel, and parents/guardians and their minor children.

College and professional sports may continue with participants, support personnel and family members. A local health department may approve a plan for up to 25 percent capacity.

Face coverings are required for all Hoosiers. Businesses of all types are required to place clearly visible signs at their public and employee entrances notifying all that face coverings are required.

All customers in restaurants and bars are required to be seated. Tables, counters, or other seating arrangements must be spaced six feet apart.

The executive order is effective through Sunday, January 3.

To see the executive order visit www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm.

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