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Walmart has started counting customers entering and leaving

Indiana's new COVID-19 rules mean to keep more people at home

Contributed By:The 411 News

Walmart has started counting customers entering and leaving to comply with social distancing

Mandatory face coverings, social distancing, and limiting the number of people out and about – another way to keep people at home – went into effect Sunday, November 15 for Hoosiers.

Indiana counties in orange and red on the Indiana State Dept. of Health’s color-coded county map face big challenges and are the targets of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s latest COVID-19 pandemic executive order. They have the highest levels of coronavirus infections and the highest number of restrictions.

Lake County in orange and its neighbor to the south Newton County, in red on the map, have to show 14 continuous days of declining infection numbers.

Businesses will remain open, unlike when the pandemic hit in March closing schools and what the state deemed non-essential businesses. For some businesses and their customers, it could mean a return to obeying rules for occupancy that will keep the 6-foot rule, bringing back waiting in line to enter a store.

On Saturday, Hammond’s Walmart on Indianapolis Blvd. started counting customers entering and leaving.

“We must do all we can to protect our hospital capacity, so our health care professionals can protect and care for patients,” Gov. 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.”

Lake County has reported nearly 11,000 new COVID-19 cases in the last month and the county is trending towards red. Lake County hospitals’ 250 Intensive Care Units are at near 75% capacity.

Schools in Lake County started the school year with a variety of options. Some returned to regular attendance for all students; some had hybrid programs giving families the choice of in school or online; some chose online or remote learning.

With the surge in coronavirus cases, nearly all school districts with in-school learning have switched to online.

East Chicago public schools started the school year with remote learning for all students. The school district went to the hybrid model on October 26. Last week, the school district returned to all remote learning because of the increase in COVID-19 infections.

Gary’s public school district was among the first to choose remote learning for students in its pre-school and K-12 programs. On Wednesday, November 11, the district’s manager Dr. Paige McNulty announced school buildings would be closed to teachers and district offices staff.

McNulty said her team had made the decision to close the buildings because of the coronavirus surge and “out of concern for the safety of our teachers and staff.”

A day later, McNulty reported in a meeting with the Distressed Unit Appeal Board, that 9 central office staff and 12 teachers were out.

Teachers in Gary’s public schools are in their classrooms working remotely with students Monday through Wednesday and work from home with students Thursday and Friday.

Beginning Monday, November 16 in Gary’s school district, only essential administrative, information technology, security, and maintenance personnel will be onsite to conduct district business and facilitate any technical assistance needed by teachers, students and parents.

The orange and red counties have to move to yellow or blue on the color-coded map to escape the restrictions.

For orange counties, social gatherings of any kind, indoors or outdoors, are limited to 50 people; red counties have a limit of 25 people.

Going into effect November 22 are restrictions for event planners.

In orange counties, planners of special, seasonal or commercial events expecting more than 50 people must submit a plan to the local health department at least seven days in advance of the event and receive approval before proceeding.

For red counties, event planners expecting more than 25 people have to submit and receive approval.

View Indiana’s entire Coronavirus Response Requirements, Nov. 15 to Dec. 12 here

Story Posted:11/15/2020

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