Gov. Eric Holcomb opted for additional restrictions meant to limit the spread of the coronavirus after previous highs in COVID-19 case numbers were shattered this week.
Effective Sunday until at least Dec. 12, indoor and outdoor gatherings in counties facing “orange” risk — the county’s community spread is approaching high levels — must not exceed 50 people, according to an executive order issued by Holcomb. Tippecanoe County currently faces orange risk.
Counties facing “red” risk must limit social gatherings of any kind to 25 people because those counties are experiencing high positivity and community spread.
In both cases, the restrictions would remain in place until the county moves to a less severe categorization for two straight weeks, the executive order states. If Tippecanoe County moved to a “yellow” risk for two straight weeks, social gatherings would then be limited to 100 people.
Face coverings are required in public settings for all Hoosiers, the order states. All businesses must visibly signal to employees and patrons that face coverings are mandated for entry.
All customers in restaurants and bars must be seated at least 6 feet apart from others.
“We must do all we can to protect our hospital capacity, so our health-care professionals can protect and care for patients,” Holcomb said. “Not only for those who have COVID, but for the cancer patient, the heart patient and the other Hoosier patients who need care in our urban, rural and suburban hospitals all across the state of Indiana.”
In a nearly 2,000-case jump from the previous record, Indiana counted 8,315 new positive COVID-19 tests Friday. On Saturday, the most recent update of the Indiana State Department of Health dashboard, more than 6,800 new cases were reported.
Tippecanoe County reported 289 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, according to the dashboard, surpassing the previous record by 84 cases.
Nearly 250 cases were attributed to Sunday, the most recent update. Ten of the 23 deaths from coronavirus complications in the county have occurred since Oct. 15.