JOINT RELEASE: Mayor Joe Hogsett, Dr. Virginia Caine Announce COVID-19 Restriction Updates for Marion County

Published on 12 November 2020 00:00

November 12, 2020

Capacity limits reduced for most establishments; schools must return to virtual instruction

INDIANAPOLIS – Today Mayor Joe Hogsett and Marion County Public Health Department Director Dr. Virginia Caine delivered an update on local COVID-19 data and restrictions. The new public health order decreases capacity limits on most establishments and activities, and requires all Marion County schools to return to virtual instruction by November 30. Mayor Hogsett and Dr. Caine also encouraged residents to alter their holiday plans to help reduce the spread of the virus. 

 “These changes bring me no joy,” said Mayor Hogsett. “It’s heartbreaking for me as someone who loves this city and desperately wants to see a speedy recovery from the effects of this pandemic. But this statewide surge shows no signs of stopping, and we must respond quickly and comprehensively to save lives and ensure the well-being of our residents.”   

“We are on the wrong trajectory, and things will get worse before we see the fruits of these restrictions,” said Dr. Caine. “We need Marion County residents to be as vigilant in private as they are in public with mask-wearing, handwashing, and social distancing. Even if you are tired of the virus, the virus will not grow tired of you.” 

The new Public Health Order goes into effect at 12:00 a.m. on November 16 and will remain in force until superseded or rescinded. 

Highlights include the following: 
• Bar capacity at 25% indoor, 100% outdoor capacity
• Restaurant capacity at 50% indoor, 100% outdoor capacity
• Special or seasonal events (concerts, movie screenings, fairs, festivals, conventions, weddings or wedding receptions, or sporting events) are now limited to 50 people or fewer unless the event has an approved safety plan from the Marion County Public Health Department, a reduction from our current 250-person limit. All other social gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited.
• Funeral homes must return to 50% capacity. Museums, cultural sites, music venues, movie theatres, bowling alleys, and other cultural and entertainment venues are limited to 25% capacity.
• Gyms and fitness studios, including locker rooms, as well as private clubs and fraternal organizations are now reduced to 25% indoor capacity.
• Indoor visitations at assisted living facilities will be incumbent on a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the visit. 

The midnight closure requirement that previously applied to bars, restaurants, and clubs will now be extended to all non-essential hospitality and entertainment businesses, including live entertainment venues. Table seating at dining establishments is now limited to no more than 6 people per table. Masks will be required when moving about establishments, and while not eating or drinking. 

Schools in Marion County, grades K-12, must return to virtual instruction by November 30, though they may do so prior to that date. Beginning November 30, K-12 extracurricular activities and sporting events may only include participants, their parents or guardians, and support personnel. 

The countywide mask order remains in effect. Residents must wear face coverings in indoor public places and in outdoor public places where social distancing is not possible. Individuals unable to wear a mask for health reasons can often wear a plastic face shield and must do so whenever possible. MCPHD will continue to issue fines for violations of the Public Health Order in effect. Violations can be reported by calling 317-221-5500 during business hours or emailing 

A copy of the MCPHD Public Health Order will be available on the MCPHD website. A copy of the presentation is attached. 

Indianapolis residents impacted by COVID-19 should visit the City of Indianapolis resource guide, which can be viewed at Spanish speaking residents can view the Resource Guide here. Individuals who are unable to navigate the city’s website can call 317-327-4MAC between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to talk to a customer service representative.


Mark Bode
Deputy Communications Director
Office of Mayor Joe Hogsett – City of Indianapolis
P: (317) 327-4287 C: (317) 995-3289