City, Health Department announce next steps in Marion County reopening
Published on 19 May 2021 00:00
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2021
Health Department recommends lifting mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals, loosening capacity restrictions on June 7
INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Public Health Department Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Virginia Caine held their regular COVID-19 update and outlined the recommended future changes to restrictions in Marion County. These changes come as a result of continued efforts to vaccinate Marion County residents, the current downward trend in COVID-19 case and positivity rates, and the new guidance for fully vaccinated individuals released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week.
“We are excited to lay out a clearer path forward for Indianapolis to more fully reopen,” said Mayor Hogsett. “The new CDC guidance made clear what we have said throughout the past several months: the vaccine is getting us back to normal. The more people who choose that option, the stronger our recovery will be.”
On June 7, the Health Department will submit a new public health order to the Indianapolis City-County Council for approval. This order will lift Marion County’s mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals, except for in certain situations such as hospitals, airports, and public transportation. Fully vaccinated individuals are defined as those who received their final dose of the vaccine at least two weeks prior.
The new recommended public health order will also loosen capacity restrictions, including:
Religious services and funerals
Recommended new: 100%
Indoor service in bars and restaurants
Recommended new: 75%
Personal services businesses (salons, etc.)
Current: By appointment
Recommended new: No appointment requirement, 6 feet social distancing between clients
Indoor sports or other large events
Recommended new: 50%
Entertainment and cultural institutions
Recommended new: 75%
Current: 50 people
Recommended new: 500 people
The Health Department will recommend the full reopening of the community to the City-County Council when the county reaches a fully vaccinated rate of 50% of residents and is seeing fewer than 100 new cases per day. The goal is to reach this milestone in Marion County by July 4.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our way out of this pandemic,” said Dr. Caine. “If you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccine, now is the time! Visit ourshot.in.gov or call 2-1-1 to register for a vaccine appointment, or walk-in to one of the Health Department’s clinics as soon as today.”
Residents ages 12 and over can visit the Health Department’s west side clinic at 3685 Commercial Drive and receive the Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Residents ages 18 and over can visit the Health Department’s east side clinic at 9503 E. 33rd Street and receive the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. IndyGo has partnered with the Health Department to slightly divert route 87 to provide direct access to the east side clinic for IndyGo riders.
The City and the Health Department are continuing to invest in efforts to improve vaccine accessibility and address vaccine hesitancy, including creating hotlines to assist those who do not speak English as their first language, adding inserts with information on the vaccine to mailers that reach thousands of residents, and investing $1 million in neighborhood-based organizations supporting the recovery of minority communities. Due to the high volume of applications received, award announcements for the COVID Community Recovery Grant Program are now expected by May 31.
Additional efforts to make vaccines more accessible to the community include IU Health’s program offering free rides to a vaccine appointment for those who need them. Residents in need of transportation to a vaccine appointment can call 1.888.IUHEALTH (1.888.484.3258) and choose option 9. Uber and Lyft will also provide free rides to vaccine appointments from May 24 – July 4. Homebound individuals can arrange for a vaccine to be brought to them through the State of Indiana’s Homebound Indiana program. People who are interested can contact their local Area Agency on Aging at iaaaa.org or by calling 1.800.986.3505.
Communications Specialist – COVID-19 Response
Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County
Marion County Public Health Department
email@example.com | 317.719.5523