On Wednesday, the Indiana State Department of Health confirmed a total of 49,063 positive coronavirus cases in the state, including 2,539 deaths. There have been 535,857 tests conducted, with a 9.2% positivity rate.
Gov. Eric Holcomb said last week the state could expect a temporary pause in increasing capacity at restaurants, bars and entertainment venues because the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized and admitted daily has increased during the past week. The daily positivity rate has also ticked up slightly, he said.
"This virus is on the prowl and in some places gaining momentum, not slowing down," Holcomb said. "Some states that reopened are now going back and closing some facilities. We don't want to find ourselves in that situation."
The state moved to Phase 4 of its reopening plan ahead of schedule. But Phase 5, which was supposed to begin July 4, will be delayed. Instead, the state will enter what it calls "Phase 4.5" on July 4.
Phase 4.5 will be largely the same as Phase 4, Holcomb said. Indiana will keep existing restrictions in place until at least July 18. The state will also continue its current 250-person limit on social gatherings. Since June 12, restaurants have been allowed 75% capacity in their dining rooms, while bars, nightclubs, bowling alleys, museums and amusement parks have been open at half capacity.
"A little disappointing. Fourth of July we were thinking was going to be nice," said Kevin Clark, owner of Bulldog Brewing. "I can see his point of view, data shows things need to slow down a little bit, and that's what we need to do."
"Our business hasn't really picked up as much as some people hoped once restrictions started to ease up," added Rich Bankse, owner of Comfort Roast.
There's hesitation even from business owners, and some businesses have simply not been prepared to open during a pandemic. For other businesses, owners making money is really only possible at maximum capacity. Without that, they can't hire staff back.
It's frustrating, but after months of being shut down entirely owners are inclined to be a little more understanding, if apprehensive.
The state also introduced a new campaign called "Mask Up Hoosiers."
"We are not asking, we are recommending in the strongest terms possible (to wear a mask)," Holcomb said. The governor held up a mask during a press briefing and played a video that showed him and other Indiana residents wearing masks.
Indianapolis announced a new mandate on Thursday that will require face masks be worn in all public places.
Mayor Joe Hogsett said the rule takes effect July 9. It requires face coverings in all indoor public spaces unless a person is alone in an office or eating at a restaurant.
Many businesses were caught off guard with Indiana starting stage 4 early, especially in Lake County which has been a week behind most of the state in the governor's reopening plan.
Holcomb defended his decision to move the state into the next stage with COVID-19 still spreading.
In Stage 4 office buildings, retail stores and malls are allowed open at full capacity. Restaurants can have up to 75 percent capacity in their dining rooms. Bars, nightclubs, Bowling alleys, Movie theaters, Amusement parks can open at 50 percent capacity.
Casinos were also allowed to reopen at reduced capacity. Horseshoe Hammond Casino will implement new health and safety protocols.
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Social distancing guidelines are still in place, and face coverings are still recommended.
We've compiled the need-to-know information and resources to keep you and your family informed and safe. You can find all of ABC7's latest reporting on the COVID-19 outbreak here.
Here's what phase four meant for Indiana:
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.